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Chromosome Choreography: The Meiotic Ballet

This article provides a review of the current understanding as well as unanswered questions in the study of meiosis. The separation of homologous chromosomes during meiosis in eukaryotes is the physical basis of Mendelian inheritance. The core of the meiotic process is a specialized nuclear division (meiosis I) in which homologs pair with each other, recombine, and then segregate from each other. The processes of chromosome alignment and pairing allow for homolog recognition. Reciprocal meiotic recombination ensures meiotic chromosome segregation by converting sister chromatid cohesion into mechanisms that hold homologous chromosomes together. Finally, the ability of sister kinetochores to orient to a single pole at metaphase I allows the separation of homologs to two different daughter cells. Failures to properly accomplish this elegant chromosome dance result in aneuploidy, a major cause of miscarriage and birth defects in human beings.

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Classifications


Resource Type: Journal article/Issue, Review
Audience Level: Undergraduate lower division 13-14, Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, Professional (degree program), Continuing education

Author and Copyright


Authors and Editors: Scott Page of Stowers Institute for Medical Research, R. Scott Hawley of Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Publisher: SCIENCE
Format: text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: No

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Collection:
American Association for the Advancement of Science


     
   

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