We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Chromosome Deletion?

By Victoria Blackburn
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
All The Science is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All The Science, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A chromosome deletion is a form of chromosome mutation. Chromosome mutations are due to changes in the structure of a chromosome, as opposed to gene mutations, which are changes within the chemical makeup of a chromosome. Chromosome mutations can actually be detected by looking at the DNA through a microscope. Mutations are changes in the DNA and they can have negative or positive consequences.

Within the nucleus of living cells, DNA is found in strands called chromosomes. Each type of organism has a specific number of chromosomes within its cells. For example, humans have 46 chromosomes, or 23 identical pairs. Along the chromosomes, genes specify the characteristics for the cells and ultimately the organism. Any mutation that occurs to a chromosome will affect this genetic information.

When a chromosome deletion occurs, part of a chromosome is removed, or deleted. Most of the time, the chromosomes can be found as long thin strands of DNA in the nucleus. They are all wound round each other, so there are plenty of opportunities for interactions with other chromosomes and with themselves.

During a chromosome deletion, the chromosome breaks in two different places. When the pieces join back together, the end pieces are attached and the middle piece is dropped out. This middle piece of the chromosome has now been deleted. Depending on what genetic information is carried on the deleted piece of the chromosome, the effects can be very serious. In some cases, this type of deletion can be lethal.

When a chromosome deletion occurs, the genes in the deleted piece are all but lost to the cell. As they are no longer a part of the chromosome, they will not go through the processes of transcription and translation, so the appropriate proteins will not be produced. Also, should the cell survive and replicate, that piece of DNA will not be copied, so all subsequent cells will also have this mutation. This type of mutation will have a profound effect on how the organism continues to develop. Actually, all but the shortest chromosome deletions are lethal to the cell.

Depending on the size of the chromosome deletion, it may be seen through a microscope. As chromosomes are found in identical pairs, one from the father and one from the mother, the two pairs can be compared. If there is a significant deletion to one of the pair, it will look different to its partner. In this way, where the deletion occurred can also be determined.

There are many different human chromosome disorders that are caused by a chromosome deletion. There are also many different symptoms and severity of symptoms depending on which chromosome was deleted and how much. Examples of disorders caused by chromosome deletions are cri-du-chat and some cases of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

All The Science is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Nefertini — On Mar 10, 2014

@Ceptorbi - These genetic mutations, although rare, cause some tragic consequences. A chromosome 6 deletion, for example, can cause significant growth and development issues and birth defects.

By Ceptorbi — On Mar 10, 2014

It's wonderful that scientists are able to view and identify a chromosome deletion through microscopic examination of the cellular DNA. Hopefully one day in the not too distant future we will be able to understand the diseases this type of genetic mutation causes enough to work on effective treatments and possibly even cures for those who suffer from them.

All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.