noun Genetics.

  1. the chromosomes of a cell, usually displayed as a systematized arrangement of chromosome pairs in descending order of size.


  1. the appearance of the chromosomes in a somatic cell of an individual or species, with reference to their number, size, shape, etc

verb (tr)

  1. to determine the karyotype of (a cell)

1929, ultimately from Russian kariotip (1922); see karyo- + type.


  1. The characterization of the chromosomal complement of an individual or a species, including number, form, and size of the chromosomes.
  2. A photomicrograph of chromosomes arranged according to a standard classification.


  1. To classify and array the chromosome complement of an organism or a species according to the arrangement, number, size, shape, or other characteristics of the chromosomes.


  1. An organized visual profile of the chromosomes in the nucleus of a body cell of an organism. Karyotypes are prepared using cells in the metaphase stage of cell division, when chromosomal strands have coiled together and duplicated, rendering them easily visible under a microscope after staining. Photomicrographs of the stained chromosomes are then arranged in a standard format according to size, the relative position of the centromere, and other criteria. The normal human karyotype consists of 46 chromosomes.


  1. To prepare the karyotype of an organism.

The complete set of chromosomes that constitutes the entire genome of a species. The human karyotype contains forty-six chromosomes, twenty-three from each parent. This set is contained in the nucleus of almost every cell in the body

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