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Number and size of eukaryotic chromosomes

The eukaryotic genome is composed of multiple linear chromosomes.

The number of chromosomes carried by an organism varies among species.

The human genome consists of 23 pairs of chromosomes. The adder's-tongue fern (a non-flowering plant) has over 600 pairs of chromosomes.

The cell nucleus is only 5-8 micrometres across. Yet it may contain a genome of 10 billion bases over 3 metres long.

Eukaryotic DNA is compressed and wound around histones so that it can fit in the nucleus.

Human chromosomes during metaphase.
Human chromosomes during metaphase.