Autosome is a chromosome that appears as a pair in which both chromosomes are the same in either sex, also called a nonsex chromosome. In contrast, the sex chromosomes appear as a pair that is different in males and females. The human genome contains 22 autosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes for a total complement of 46 chromosomes as 23 pairs.
For further discussion of autosomes within the context of the structures and functions of genetics, please see the overview section “Genetics and Molecular Medicine.”
Page last reviewed: