independent assortment


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in·de·pen·dent as·sort·ment

the pattern of transmission of unlinked loci.
Independent assortmentclick for a larger image
Fig. 196 Independent assortment . Separation of chromosomes.

independent assortment

the random arrangement and separation of chromosomes during MEIOSIS, giving all possible combinations in equal frequency, unlike the situation with GENETIC LINKAGE. The process is important in understanding MENDELIAN GENETICS and explains the random distribution in the gametes of genes or nonhomologous chromosomes. For example, take two pairs of HOMOLOGOUS CHROMOSOMES in a DIPLOID (1) cell. During anaphase 1 there are two ways in which the chromosomes can become separated (see Fig. 196 ). Independent assortment of the chromosomes in the Fig. gives four types of possible gamete (1 + 3), (2 + 4), (1 + 4) and (2 + 3). In fact, the number of combinations is 2 to the power of the number of pairs of chromosome, 22 = 4 in the above example. A human with 23 pairs of chromosomes would produce 223 = 8 388 608 combinations by independent assortment alone.
References in periodicals archive ?
The two examples that come readily to mind are the Hardy-Weinberg law that applies to ratios of genes in a population under particular conditions and the law of independent assortment of chromosomes applied to the partitioning of chromosomes during meiosis.
Mendel's laws of segregation and the law of independent assortment of characters are now recognized as the fundamental principles of heredity.
The inheritance of one element does not govern the inheritance of any other element; this is the law of independent assortment.
This is his law of independent assortment. He was able to prove his two laws because he (1) carefully selected his experimental subjects for a limited number of traits and (2) had a large population, which allowed him to treat the result statistically.
One of the processes that ultimately provides for new combinations of alleles in sexually-reproducing organisms is the independent assortment of chromosomes during meiosis 1.

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