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We have used telomeric DNA to break the human Y chromosome within the centromeric array of alphoid satellite DNA and have created two derivative chromosomes; one consists of the short arm and 140 kb of alphoid DNA, the other consists of the long arm and 480 kb of alphoid DNA. Both segregate accurately at mitosis. It is known that there is no large scale sequence duplication around the alphoid DNA and so the simplest interpretation of our results is that the sequence responsible for accurate segregation is the alphoid DNA itself. Although the long arm acrocentric derivative segregates accurately it lags with respect to the other chromosomes in about 10% of anaphase cells and thus additional sequences may be required for orderly segregation. The short arm acrocentric chromosome is probably no larger than 12 Mb in size and thus our results also demonstrate that chromosomes of this size are capable of accurate segregation.

Original publication




Journal article


Hum Mol Genet

Publication Date





1227 - 1237


Cells, Cultured, Centromere, Cloning, Molecular, DNA, Humans, Restriction Mapping, Telomere, Y Chromosome