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A karyotype is a representation (usually via a micrograph) of all the Chromosomes found in the Nucleus of a Cell. A karyotype can only be taken during the cell division process of Mitosis, as during this phase the chromosomes have condensed in preparation for cell division and only now are able to be seen under a light microscope. Each organism has its own karyotype. Karyotypes allow each chromosome pair (homologous chromosomes) to be distinguished from other homologous pairs via comparisons of sizes, band patterns and centromere locations. A karyoptype is often therefore displayed by arranging the chromosomes based on their appearance, by their length and position of their Centromeres[1][2]


  1. Hartl D.L, Ruvolo M (2012) Genetics: Analysis of Genes and Genomes, 8th edition, Jones and Barlett Learning, Boston
  2. Reece, Urry, Cain, Wasserman, Minorsky, Jackson (2011). Campbell Biology. 9th ed. San Francisco: Pearson. p296
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