Standard Article

Gene Distribution in Human Chromosomes

  1. Giorgio Bernardi1,
  2. Salvatore Saccone2

Published Online: 15 JUL 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0005790.pub2



How to Cite

Bernardi, G. and Saccone, S. 2008. Gene Distribution in Human Chromosomes. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Laboratory of Molecular Evolution, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Napoli, Italy

  2. 2

    University of Catania, Catania, Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2008


The distribution of genes in the human genome is strikingly nonuniform. Gene density is very high in GC (G, guanine; C, cytosine)-rich isochores and very low in GC-poor isochores (isochores are long deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) regions characterized by a fairly homogeneous GC level). Since GC-rich and GC-poor isochores can be localized on human chromosomes, this ‘chromosomal compositional mapping’ provides information on the distribution of genes on chromosomes. The completion of the human genome sequence and the mapping of isochores on chromosomes have recently confirmed these results.


  • isochores;
  • chromosomal bands;
  • telomeric bands;
  • gene density;
  • in situ hybridization