karyotype kar·y·o·type (kār'ē-ə-tīp')
The characterization of the chromosomal complement of an individual or a species, including number, form, and size of the chromosomes.
A photomicrograph of chromosomes arranged according to a standard classification.
|karyotype (kār'ē-ə-tīp') Pronunciation Key
Noun An organized visual profile of the chromosomes in the nucleus of a body cell of an organism. Karyotypes are prepared using cells in the metaphase stage of cell division, when chromosomal strands have coiled together and duplicated, rendering them easily visible under a microscope after staining. Photomicrographs of the stained chromosomes are then arranged in a standard format according to size, the relative position of the centromere, and other criteria. The normal human karyotype consists of 46 chromosomes.
Verb To prepare the karyotype of an organism.