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Cell Reproduction Vocabulary

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Gene
segment of DNA that transmits information from parent to offspring
Chromosome
a rod-shaped structure that forms when a single DNA molecule and its associated proteins coil tightly before cell division
Chromatids
the two copies of each chromosome, formed prior to cell division
Centromere
the protein disk in the center of a chromosome where the two chromatids are attached
Homologous Chromosomes
the two copies of each chromosome, which are similar in size and shape and have similar gene information
Diploid
when a cell contains two homologues of each chromosome
Gametes
egg cells and sperm cells
Haploid
when a cell contains only one homologue of each chromosome
Zygote
a fertilized egg cell; first cell of a new individual
Trisomy
a condition where a diploid cell has an extra chromosome
Karyotype
the collection of chromosomes found in an individual's cells
Down Syndrome
the traits produced by having an extra copy of chromosome 21
Nondisjunction
when each chromosome and its homologue fail to properly separate; one cell will receive both chromosomes while another cell receives no chromosomes
Amniocentesis
when a physician uses a needle and syringe to remove a small amount of fluid from the amnion, the sac that surrounds the fetus
Chorionic villi sampling
a physician analyzes a karyotype made using cells grown from a sample of the chorionic villi, fingerlike extensions of placenta that grow into the mother's uterus
Mutations
changes in an organism's genetic material
Deletion
when a fragment of a chromosome breaks off, it can be lost when the cell divides
Duplication
the chromosome fragment attaches to its homologous chromosome, which will carry two copies of a certain set of genes
Inversion
when a fragment of a chromosome breaks off and reattaches to the original chromosome in reverse orientation
Translocation
when a fragment of a chromosome breaks off and joins a non-homologous chromosome
Autosomes
the 22 pairs of chromosomes that are the same in both males and females
Sex Chromosomes
the chromosomes that differ between males and females
Binary Fission
a form of asexual reproduction that produces identical offspring
Cell Cycle
a repeating sequence of growth and division that is completed by many eukaryotic cells
Cytokinesis
when the cytoplasm divides
Interphase
a period of time where the cell does a great deal of growing while carrying out normal cell processes
Spindle Fiber
made of microtubules (long narrow tubes of protein) that help move the chromosomes apart in cell division
Kinetochore
a disk of protein that serves as a platform for assembling the microtubules that extends out from the centromere
Meiosis
the mechanism that halves the number of chromosomes in cells as a form of cell division
Spores
haploid cells in plants that later lead to the production of gametes
Crossing-over
the process in the beginning of meiosis 1 where homologous chromosomes pair up next to each other
Skipping Replication
there is only one replication of DNA but two divisions, halving the number of chromosomes in each new cell
Reduction Division
when each new cell after meiosis 1 contains half the number of chromosomes of the original cell
Genetic Recombination
the formation of new combinations of genes