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 the phenomenon that repetitions of a short DNA sequence tend to produce a different frequency of the bases adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine, and thus have a different density from bulk DNA such that they form a second or "satellite" band(s) when genomic DNA is separated along a cesium chloride density gradient using buoyant density centrifugation.

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