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Multiple biological mysteries remain in the definition and organization of genetic information into different chromosomes. Up to now, genome architecture at the chromosome level remain enigmatic concerning the reasons why evolution and natural selection arranged genetic information in separate segments in eukaryotic cells as compared to the single chromosome in the prokaryotic world. Specifically, one important unresolved question has been the role of chromosomes in cellular physiology and biochemical processes. By deleting the centromere and telomere regions of different chromosomes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and fusing the different chromosomes into one chromosome, research reported by Shao and coworkers in Nature revealed the technical possibility of concatenating all genetic information into one segment. Furthermore, cell viability assays revealed that there was no significant loss of cell viability after the fusing of 16 chromosomes into a single chromosome. This highlighted that centromere and telomere sequences were not critical to overall cellular function, physiology and biochemistry. More importantly, the results highlighted that genetic information and its organisation at the sub-chromosome level play a more important role in defining cellular biochemical processes and physiology such as metabolism and cell division processes. Collectively, the technical feasibility of fusing multiple chromosomes into a single chromosome has been shown in new research that deleted the centromere and telomere regions of different chromosomes for fusing the resulting genetic information into a single chromosome. Little loss of viability and function in cells with a single chromosome and the stability of replicating the chromosome revealed that centromere and telomere sequences may not play critical roles in defining cellular physiology and biochemistry. More importantly, genomic information and its regulation was shown indirectly to have a more direct influence on cell physiology and metabolism than chromosomal architecture.
This preprint highlights research published in a journal article.