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These are relatively short, gene-rich chromosomes. They can either be linear or circular pieces of DNA. They replicate separately to other chromsomes during cell division[1].

Minichromsomes arise either as a result of natural processes or because of genetic engineering.

Minichromsomes are produced by two methods: de novo and top-down. De novo involves putting together the centromere, telomere and DNA replication sequences of a chromosome[2], and top-down is the process of inserting telomere sequences into an existing chromosome, causing it to truncate so that it can then be altered via insertion of new genes for desirable traits[3].


  1. Goyal,, A. (2009). "Minichromosomes: The second generation genetic engineering tool".
  2. Yu, Weichang; Birchler, James (August 2007). "Minichromosomes: The Next Generation Technology for Plant Engineering".
  3. Goyal,, A. (2009). "Minichromosomes: The second generation genetic engineering tool".
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