alexa Polytene chromosomes

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Polytene chromosomes

Polytene chromosomes are giant chromosomes common to many dipteran (two-winged) flies. They begin as normal chromosomes, but through repeated rounds of DNA replication without any cell division (called endoreplication), they become large, banded chromosomes. Polytene chromosomes are over-sized chromosomes which have developed from standard chromosomes and are commonly found in the salivary glands of Drosophila melanogaster. The polytene chromosomes at the right are from the salivary glands of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The bands on each chromosome are like a road map, unique to each chromosome and well defined enough to allow high resolution mapping of each chromosome. Polytene chromosomes are usually found in the larvae, where it is believed these many-replicated chromosomes allow for much faster larval growth than if the cells remained diploid.

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