Holocentric Chromosomes

  • Petr Bureš
  • František Zedek
  • Michaela Marková


In contrast to the “normal type” of monocentric mitotic chromosomes, where spindle attachment is restricted to a single kinetochore, holocentric chromosomes are chromosomes to which spindle microtubules attach along the whole length through kinetochores that cover a substantial part of their poleward surfaces during mitosis. In addition, holocentric sister chromatids are interconnected along their whole lengths before anaphase disjunction, unlike monocentric chromatids, which cohere only in the pericentromeric area. The morphological distinctions between monocentric and holocentric chromosomes are associated with differences in chromatin structure and modified mitosis or meiosis, as well as karyotype evolution of the holocentrics themselves. In this chapter, we will survey these aspects of holocentrism and also discuss some hypotheses on the origin of holocentric chromosomes, their patterns of occurrence and methods of verification, particularly among plants.


Chromosome Number Sister Chromatid Sister Chromatid Cohesion Equatorial Plate Centromeric Satellite 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Our study was supported by the Czech Science Foundation (Grant no. GACR206/09/1405) and by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (Grants no. MSM0021622416, and LC06073).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petr Bureš
    • 1
  • František Zedek
    • 2
  • Michaela Marková
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Botany & ZoologyMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Botany and ZoologyMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic

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