Encyclopedia of Public Health

2008 Edition
| Editors: Wilhelm Kirch


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-5614-7_2940




Recombination is the biological process of the exchange of genetic information between homologous chromosomes, leading to genetic variability on the chromosomes transmitted from parents to offspring. Recombination or crossing-over results in the production of chromosomes some of whose alleles at multiple polymorphic sites differ from alleles at those same sites on the chromosome of the parent organism. Recombination occurs during prophase of the first round of meiotic cell division (prophase I), and occurs between duplicated homologous chromosomes. Recombination is one of two sources of genetic variation in offspring, the other being independent assortment. Independent assortment denotes the principle of transmission that, after recombination, either homologous chromosomes has an approximately equal probability of being transmitted or not transmitted (50–50%). Recombination and independent assortment are the reasons for why any two...

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© Springer-Verlag 2008