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Chromatids are each of the two thread-like strands into which a chromosome divides longitudinally during cell division. Each contains a double helix of DNA. After replication, each chromosome consists of two such identical chromatids.

The term is often used interchangeably with “sister chromatids,” which specifically refers to the identical copies joined together by a common centromere.

Function of chromatids in cell division

During the phase of cell division known as mitosis or meiosis, chromosomes are replicated to form two identical copies, each called a chromatid. These chromatids are initially joined together at the centromere. As the cell progresses through mitosis, the chromatids eventually separate and are pulled to opposite ends of the cell, ensuring that each new cell inherits an identical set of chromosomes.

Biological importance

Chromatids play a crucial role in genetic stability and diversity. By ensuring accurate replication and distribution of genetic material, chromatids are central to the process of cell division that drives growth, tissue repair, and reproduction in organisms.

Applications and research

Understanding the behavior of chromatids during cell division helps in studying genetic diseases, cancer, and the effects of mutagens. Research into chromatid cohesion and separation provides insights into potential therapeutic targets for diseases that involve cell cycle dysregulation.

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