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A genophore is the DNA of a prokaryote. This is commonly referred to as a prokaryotic chromosome. The term chromosome is misleading for a genophore because the genophore lacks chromatin [1].

The genophore is compacted through a mechanism known as supercoiling[2]. Where a chromosome is compacted via chromatin. The genophore is circular in most prokaryotes, and linear in very few. The circular nature of the genophore allows replication to occur without telomeres.[3]

Genophores are generally of a much smaller size than Eukaryotic chromosomes. A genophore of a true organism can be as small as 580,073 base pairs (Mycoplasma genitalium).

Many eukaryotes (such as plants and animals) carry genophores in organelles such as mitochondria and chloroplasts. These organelles are very similar to true prokaryotes.[4]


  1. ^ Ris, H. (1961). Ultrastructure and molecular organization of genetic systems. Can. J. Genet. Cytol. 3, 95-120.
  2. ^ Benham C, Mielke S. "DNA mechanics". Annu Rev Biomed Eng 7: 21 – 53. PMID 16004565.
  3. ^ Nelson D, Cox M (2000). {{{title}}}. 
  4. ^ Nelson D, Cox M (2000). {{{title}}}. 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Genophore". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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