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Homo sapiens
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During meiosis the replicated chromosomes of a single diploid cell are segregated into 4 haploid daughter cells by two successive divisions, meiosis I and meiosis II. In meiosis I, the distinguishing event of meiosis, pairs (bivalents) of homologous chromosomes in the form of sister chromatids are paired by synapsis along their regions of homologous DNA (Yang and Wang 2009), and then segregated, resulting in haploid daughters containing sister chromatids paired at their centromeres (Cohen et al. 2006, Handel and Schimenti 2010). The sister chromatids are then separated and segregated during meiosis II.

Recombination between chromosomal homologues but not between sister chromatids occurs during prophase of meiosis I (Inagaki et al. 2010). Though hundreds of recombination events are initiated, most are resolved without crossovers and only tens proceed to become crossovers. In mammals recombination events are required between homologues for normal pairing, synapsis, and segregation.

Literature References
PubMed ID Title Journal Year
18948708 The Mammalian synaptonemal complex: a scaffold and beyond

Wang, PJ, Yang, F

Genome Dyn 2009
20364103 DNA double strand break repair, chromosome synapsis and transcriptional silencing in meiosis

Schoenmakers, S, Inagaki, A, Baarends, WM

Epigenetics 2010
20051984 Genetics of mammalian meiosis: regulation, dynamics and impact on fertility

Schimenti, JC, Handel, MA

Nat Rev Genet 2010
16543383 Genetic analysis of chromosome pairing, recombination, and cell cycle control during first meiotic prophase in mammals

Pollack, SE, Pollard, JW, Cohen, PE

Endocr Rev 2006
Cross References
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