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  • Robertsonian translocation is a rare form of chromosomal rearrangement that in humans occurs in the five acrocentric chromosome pairs, namely 13, 14, 15, 21, and 22. Other translocations occur but do not lead to a viable fetus. They are named after the American biologist William Rees Brebner Robertson Ph.D., who first described a Robertsonian translocation in grasshoppers in 1916. They are also called whole-arm translocations or centric-fusion translocations. They are a type of chromosomal translocation. A Robertsonian translocation is a type of reciprocal translocation involving two homologous chromosomes or non-homologous chromosomes. A feature of chromosomes that are commonly found to undergo such translocations is that they possess an acrocentric centromere, partitioning the chromosome into a large arm containing the vast majority of genes, and a short arm with a much smaller proportion of genetic content. During a Robertsonian translocation, the participating chromosomes break at their centromeres and the long arms fuse to form a single chromosome with a single centromere.

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