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Satellite DNA

Satellite DNA consists of very large arrays of tandemly repeating, non-coding DNA. Satellite DNA is the main component of functional centromeres, and form the main structural constituent of heterochromatin.

The name "satellite DNA" refers to how repetitions of a short DNA sequence tend to produce a different frequency of the nucleotides adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine, and thus have a different density from bulk DNA - such that they form a second or 'satellite' band when genomic DNA is separated on a density gradient.