Day 43 (2q12.3-2q14.1): the relic of two ape chromosomes joining

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 9.29.50 PMhttp://www.pnas.org/content/88/20/9051.full.pdf

Day 43 has 49 protein-coding genes (browser view). The most interesting thing today is not the genes, but a fascinating relic: the exact place where two ape chromosomes fused together millions of years ago, giving us 23 chromosomes unlike the 24 of our closest relatives.

The sequence above is from a paper by Ijdo et al (1991) and shows two telomeres (normally at the ends of chromosomes) meeting here in the middle of chromosome. Telomeres consist of repeats of “TTAGGG” (or something close to it), which is “CCCTAA” read on the other strand. Where the TTAGGGs stop and the CCCTAAs start is right where the ends of the chromosomes┬ástuck together.

You carry this genetic fossil in all of your cells. Click here to see the nucleotide-level view Day 43 with the fusion point underlined.

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