There are four main types of chromosomes: metacentric, submetacentric, acrocentric, and telocentric.
Chromosomes are found within most living cells’ nucleus and consist of DNA tightly bound into thread-like structures. Chromosomes are divided into two parts, with a constriction point in the middle known as the centromere. The position of the centromere classifies the four types of chromosomes in animal cells.
- The centromere is present right in the middle of the chromosome, such that both sections are of equal length. Human chromosome 1 and 3 are metacentric.
- Submetacentric chromosomes have the centromere slightly offset from the centre, leading to a slight asymmetry in the length of the two sections.
- Acrocentric chromosomes have a centromere that is severely offset from the centre leading to one very long and concise section.
- Telocentric chromosomes have the centromere at the very end of the chromosome.