The Function of Chromosomes

Chromosomes are the thread-like structure found in the nuclei of both animal and plant cells. They are made of protein and one molecule of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

As the genetic material passes from parents to child, the chromosomes are responsible for containing the instructions that make the offspring unique while still carrying traits from the parent. In most organisms, one chromosome is inherited from the mother and the other is inherited from the father; to ensure that offspring carry traits from both parents. It's crucial that certain cells, like reproductive cells, have the correct number of chromosomes in order to function properly.

The structure of chromosomes helps ensure the DNA remains tightly wrapped around the proteins;otherwise, DNA molecules would be too large for the inside of the cells.

Organisms grow by undergoing cell division to produce new cells and replace older, wornout cells. During this cell division, DNA must remain intact and keep its even distributionthroughout the cells. Chromosomes are important to this process to ensure the DNA is accurately replicated.

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