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Definition of metacentric

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

In genetics, the centrometer is used to name the central part of a chromosome in which the different fibers join, responsible for executing and regulating chromosome movements during mitosis and meiosis. We speak of metacentric when the centrometer of the chromosm is located in the middle of it, so that the two arms are the same size. Thus, in the lower image we can see a chromosome whose arms on both sides of the centrometer have an equivalent length. At FastlyHealwe detail the definition of metacentric.


Pertaining to a chromosome in which the centrometer is located near the center, so that the arms of the chromatids are practically the same length.

Thus, the metacentric is part of the different types of chromosomes that we can find:

  • Submetacentric . The centrometer of the chromosm is positioned so that one arm is slightly shorter than the other. Most human chromosomes are submetacentric, except for chromosomes 1, 3, 19, 20 and X, which are metacentric, and 13, 14, 15, 21 and 22, which are acrocentric.
  • Acrocentric . In this case, the chromosome has the centrometer closest to one of the telometers, so one of the arms is very short and the other long. Chromosomes 13, 14, 15, 21, and 22 are of this type.
  • Telocentric . This type of chromosome does not exist, although it is accepted by the scientific community. In this case, the centrometer is at one end of it, however, the telocentric zone does not allow a structure to end the chromosome. This shortening of the telomere causes instability in the chromosomes, so this term is considered incorrect and the term subtelocentric is used instead.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

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