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Encyclopedia > Translocation
Chromosomal translocation of the 4th and 20th chromosome.

In genetics, a chromosome translocation is the interchange of parts between nonhomologous chromosomes. It is detected on cytogenetics or a karyotype of affected cells. There are two main types, reciprocal and Robertsonian. Also, translocations can be balanced (in an even exchange of material with no genetic information extra or missing) or unbalanced (where the exchange of chromosome material is unequal resulting in extra or missing genes).


Reciprocal Translocations

Usually resulting in an exchange of material between nonhomologous chromosomes, reciprocal translocations are found in about 1 in 600 newborns. Such translocations are usually harmless and may be found through prenatal diagnosis. However, carriers of balanced reciprocal translocations have increased risks create gametes with unbalanced chromosome translocations leading miscarriages or children with abnormalities. Genetic counseling and genetic testing is often offered to families that may carry a translocation.

Robertsonian translocations

This type of rearrangement involves two acrocentric chromosomes that fuse near the centromere region with loss of the short arms. The resulting karyotype has only 45 chromosomes since two chromosomes have fused together. Robertsonian translocations have been seen involving all combinations of acrocentric chromosomes. The most common translocation involves chromosomes 13 and 14 is seen in about 1 in 1300 persons, making it the most common chromosome rearrangment in humans. Like other translocations, carriers of Robertsonian translocations are phenyotypically normal, but there is a risk of unbalanced gametes and therefore miscarriages or abnormal offspring. For exmple, carriers of robertsonian translocations involving chromosome 21 have a higher chance to have a child with Down syndrome.

Some diseases caused by translocations are:


The shorthand t(A;B)(p1;q2) is used to denote a translocation between chromosome A and chromosome B. The information in the second set of parentheses, when given, gives the precise location within the chromosome for chromosomes A and B respectively—with p indicating the short arm of the chromosome, q indicating the long arm, and the numbers after p or q giving the distance in centimorgans from the centromere.

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Wildlife Translocation Association (322 words)
The Wildlife Translocation Association (WTA) is an association not for gain that represents the wildlife translocation industry in South Africa.
The Wildlife Translocation Association is a voluntary association of professional game capturers and associated role-players within the industry.
The Wildlife Translocation Association was founded to facilitate liaison between private enterprise and the nature conservation authorities by adopting a cooperative approach towards improving the professional and ethical standards within the industry.
Translocations (505 words)
In general however, the problem with translocations occurs during meiosis and is manifest as reductions in fertility.
Note that this animal is a translocation heterozygote, having a normal chromosome 1 and 2 in addition to the translocation chromsomes.
A centric fusion is a translocation in which the centromeres of two acrocentric chromosomes fuse to generate one large metacentric chromosome.
  More results at FactBites »



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