Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Robertsonian Translocation


1. fusion of two small nonhomologous chromosomes into one large chromosome with conjoined but preserved linkage groups, or

2. fission of one large chromosome into two small nonhomologous chromosomes. Either case is considered a clinical aberration within a species (see MCA), but also a potential mode of normal speciation. A special case is centric fusion in which two acrocentric chromosomes join at their centromeres to form a metacentric chromosome, thus preserving all former genes and annealing them into one large linkage group. Human chromosome number two (HSA 2) is thought to have arisen by such a centric fusion event in some remote common ancestor, as the great apes have two pairs of small nonhomologous chromosomes with extensive genetic synteny to the larger HSA

2. Aka Robertsonian fusion, Robertsonian fission.

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