Chimera (genetics)

Single organism composed of two or more different populations of genetically distinct cells / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A genetic chimerism or chimera (/kˈmɪərə/ ky-MEER or /kɪˈmɪərə/ kim-EER) is a single organism composed of cells with more than one distinct genotype. In animals and human chimeras, this means an individual derived from two or more zygotes, which can include possessing blood cells of different blood types, and subtle variations in form (phenotype). Animal chimeras are produced by the merger of two (or more) embryos. In plant chimeras, however, the distinct types of tissue may originate from the same zygote, and the difference is often due to mutation during ordinary cell division. Normally, genetic chimerism is not visible on casual inspection; however, it has been detected in the course of proving parentage.[1] In contrast, an individual where each cell contains genetic material from two organisms of different breeds, varieties, species or genera is called a hybrid.[2]

TwoColoredRoseChimera.jpg
Two-colored rose chimera

Another way that chimerism can occur in animals is by organ transplantation, giving one individual tissues that developed from a different genome. For example, transplantation of bone marrow often determines the recipient's ensuing blood type.[citation needed].

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