ploidy


ploidy

Number of sets of chromosomes in the nucleus of a cell. In normal human body cells, chromosomes exist in pairs, a condition called diploidy. During meiosis the cell produces sex cells (gametes), each containing half the normal number of chromosomes, a condition called haploidy. When an egg and a sperm unite in fertilization, the diploid condition is restored. Polyploid cells have three or more times the number of chromosomes found in haploid cells; polyploid organisms usually cannot reproduce. Aneuploid cells have an abnormal number of chromosomes that is not a multiple of the haploid number. Aneuploidy is most often caused by an error leading to an unequal distribution of chromosomes during division.

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