Molecular Life Sciences

2018 Edition
| Editors: Robert D. Wells, Judith S. Bond, Judith Klinman, Bettie Sue Siler Masters

Recombination: Mechanisms, Pathways, and Applications

  • Douglas A. Julin
Reference work entry


Recombination is a process that brings about reassortment of genetic information in and among chromosomes. Recombination serves several functions in organisms, including DNA repair in bacteria and eukaryotes, and ensures the correct alignment and segregation of chromosomes during meiosis in eukaryotes. Recombination is thought to be important for evolution since it provides new combinations of genes that may give rise to beneficial traits in an organism. Recombination enzymes and pathways are also used in some specialized cellular functions such as the diversification of genes that encode antibody proteins in vertebrates (V(D)J recombination) and telomere maintenance in tumor cells. Homologous recombination relies on complementary DNA sequences to transfer genetic information between identical and nearly identical (homologous) chromosomes. Genetic rearrangements can also occur through site-specific recombination and transposition reactions that are directed by protein-DNA...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA