Typically, all cells of a given organism have the same set of chromosomes. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and in many organisms, the somatic cells and germ cells, various types of somatic cells or organs, or females and males, have different genomes. One of the sources of such differences is chromosome/DNA elimination/chromatin diminution that is a naturally programmed phenomenon. We describe chromosome/DNA elimination in various organisms and present the current hypotheses on its origin, mechanisms, significance, and consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-25
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Biology
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • B chromosomes
  • Chromosome drive
  • Chromosome elimination
  • Diminution
  • Gene silencing
  • Programmed DNA elimination
  • Repetitive sequences
  • Super-mendelian inheritance
  • Chromatin
  • Humans
  • Male
  • DNA/genetics
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Genome/genetics
  • Female
  • Chromosomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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