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poly- +‎ -tene


A polytene chromosome from fly salivary gland (colored)

polytene (comparative more polytene, superlative most polytene)

  1. (molecular biology) Having very large chromosomes with many chromatids (arms).
    • 1957, Carl P. Swanson, Cytology and Cytogenetics[1], page 300:
      When this was done, it could be shown that the production of polytene chromosomes is not uniform for all chromosomes of a single nucleus, ie, some chromosomes are more polytene than others, []


polytene (plural polytenes)

  1. (molecular biology) A very large chromosome with many chromatids (arms); a chromosome exhibiting polyteny
    • 2002, John Michael Barry, Molecular Embryology[2], →ISBN, page 91:
      Unlike normal chromosomes, polytenes are visible in a microscope even when cell division is not taking place.

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