Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: chrom- or chromo-

These colored bands represent the separation of different chemicals by the process of chromatography. The process uses a solvent to move the initial sample across some substrate (such as paper). The different physical properties of different chemicals will cause them to move at different rates and separate. Credit: Mehau Kulky/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: chrom- or chromo-


The prefix (chrom- or chromo-) means color. It is derived from the Greek chrôma for color.


Chroma (chrom-a) - the quality of a color determined by its intensity and purity.

Chromatic (chrom-atic) - relating to color or colors.

Chromatid (chrom-atid) - one-half of two identical copies of a replicated chromosome.

Chromatin (chrom-atin) - mass of genetic material found in the nucleus that is composed of DNA and proteins. It condenses to form chromosomes. Chromatin gets its name from the fact that it easily stains with basic dyes.

Chromatogram (chrom-ato-gram) - a column of material that has been separated by chromatography.

Chromatography (chrom-ato-graphy) - a method of separating mixtures by absorption along a stationary medium such as paper or gelatin. Chromatography was first used to separate plant pigments.

Chromatophore (chrom-ato-phore) - a pigment producing cell or colored plastid in plant cells such as chloroplasts.

Chromatotropism (chrom-ato-tropism) - movement in response to stimulation by color.

Chromobacterium (chromo-bacterium) - a genus of bacteria that produce a violet pigment and can cause disease in humans.

Chromogen (chromo-gen) - a substance that lacks color, but can be converted to a dye or pigment. It also refers to a pigment producing or pigmented organelle or microbe.

Chromogenesis (chromo-genesis) - the formation of pigment or color.

Chromogenic (chromo-genic) - denoting a chromogen or relating to chromogenesis.

Chromopathy (chromo-pathy) - a form of therapy in which patients are exposed to different colors.

Chromophil (chromo-phil) - a cell, organelle, or tissue element that stains readily.

Chromophobe (chromo-phobe) - a cell, organelle, or tissue element that is resistant to stains or not stainable.

Chromophore (chromo-phore) - chemical groups that are capable of colorizing certain compounds and have the ability to form dyes.

Chromoplast (chromo-plast) - plant cell with yellow and orange pigments.

Chromosome (chromo-some) - gene aggregate that carries heredity information in the form of DNA and is formed from condensed chromatin.