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INTRODUCTION Meiosis is the specialized pair of cell divisions that normally

Meiosis is the specialized pair of cell divisions that normally
results in the reduction of a cell's chromosome number by one
half, giving rise to gametes or gamete-producing cells (John,
1990). A precise and balanced reduction of the nuclear genome
to the haploid state via meiosis requires that the chromosomes
in a diploid nucleus literally reorganize into the haploid
number of homologous chromosome pairs. The precise two-
by-two pairing of homologous chromosomes must be
completed by meiotic prophase to ensure normal chromosome
disjunction and segregation at the first meiotic division (for
reviews, see John, 1990; Loidl, 1990; Kleckner, 1996; Roeder,
1997; Zickler and Kleckner, 1998).
Successful pairing and synapsis give rise to chromosome
bivalents that can be observed by conventional microscopy
during middle and late meiotic prophase. Although pairing and
synapsis refer to similar and interrelated processes, important
distinctions must be made when referring to analysis of meiotic
chromosome behavior. The colocalization or touching of
homologous chromosomes within the nucleus is generally


Source: Agard, David - Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California at San Francisco
Bass, Hank W. - Department of Biological Science, Florida State University


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Biotechnology