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Mutations - Translocation

Translocations are chromosome mutations in which chromosome segments, and the genes they contain, change positions. Translocations can occur within a chromosome (intrachromosomal) or between chromosomes (interchromosomal). In an intrachromosomal translocation, a segment breaks off the chromosome and rejoins it at a different location.

Two types of interchromosomal translocations are shown in this animation. Nonreciprocal translocations occur when the transfer of chromosomal material is one way. In this case, the B-C region of the first chromosome is translocated to the long arm of the second chromosome.

A translocation is said to be reciprocal when chromosomes swap parts, as can be seen when the A-B region of the large chromosome and the M-N-O region of the short chromosome exchange places in the second part of this animation.

Translocations, which do not involve a loss or gain of genetic material, often show no harmful effects. However, some translocations are associated with certain forms of cancer, and others can cause reduced fertility due to problems when the translocated chromosomes pair and separate during meiosis.





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