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Reciprocal Translocation


Updated March 16, 2009

An Illustration of A Reciprocal Translocation

An Illustration of A Reciprocal Translocation

Courtesy: National Human Genome Research Institute
Definition: Reciprocal translocation is a special type of chromosome abnormality caused by pieces of separate chromosomes breaking off of their original chromosomes and switching places. The two resulting new chromosomes are called derivative chromosomes.

Any chromosome can be involved in a reciprocal translocation. There are two types of reciprocal translocations -- balanced and unbalanced. When a balanced translocation occurs, the correct amount of chromosome material is present. When an unbalanced translocation occurs, there is either too much or too little chromosome material present.

Pronunciation: re-sip-ra-cal trans-lo-kay-shun
A reciprocal translocation between the the long arm of chromosome 14 and the short arm of chromosome 21, resulted in two new fused chromosomes called derivative chromosomes.
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