AAT Bioquest

What is the significance of meiosis?

Posted November 30, 2023


Meiosis plays a crucial role in sexual reproduction by ensuring all organisms have the correct number of chromosomes (46 total in humans). It maintains this number throughout an organism's lifetime. This is important since genetic conditions may arise from an individual having an incorrect number of chromosomes. Meiosis is also significant since it contributes to genetic diversity of species through the process of recombination. During prophase I, homologous chromosomes align in pairs and exchange DNA material. Recombination also has a crucial function in the repair of genetic abnormalities in germ line cells. This variation increases later during the fertilization of gametes, producing various combinations of DNA. Meiosis is also significant since it contributes to the preservation of the immortality of the germ line. This happens through a rejuvenation process which neutralizes abnormal RNA and protein molecules, or by getting rid of malfunctioning meiocytes. 

Additional resources

Genetics, Meiosis

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