Biology as Poetry: Genetics

Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Homologous Pairs

Chromosomes that are identical all ways except in terms of what alleles are present.

The autosomes present in diploid cells are found in homologous pairs, with each individual of a pair known as a homologue. During meiosis homologous pairs are independently assorted and also subject to crossing over. Human genomes possess 22 homologous pairs plus two sex chromosomes.

Note that triploid individuals possess three copies of homologues rather than two whereas chromosomes with haploid individuals are not found in pairs but instead are present in single copy number.

Not to be confused with sister chromatid pairs where sister chromatids are identical in every way including in terms of what alleles are present.

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