Meiosis, Inheritance and Variation: How We Got Similar Traits From Our Parents?

We all share similarities with other family members. You might have a similar kind of face as your brothers, or you have a similar hair just like your father. These similarities often exist because we bear or receive traits from the parents through genes. In fact, these genes contribute all the similar traits.

The transition of genes from one generation to another is known as heredity. At first, a few simple organisms go through genes while reproducing the genetic information. Next, they split up to form a similar organism. In contrast to this situation, the complex organisms such as humans produce a particular kind of sex cells, known as gametes. They move half of the genetic information and later, they combine this information to create a new organism. In truth, the meiosis produces gametes.

Meiosis is responsible for making sperm and eggs

Throughout the meiosis process within humans, one diploid cell containing 46 chromosomes or 23 pairs go through two sequences of cell division and one cycle of DNA replication. This process results in a four haploid daughter cells, which is called as gametes or egg and sperm cells (with 23 chromosomes – one from each pair in the diploid cell).

At the time of formation, an egg and a sperm cell blend to create a zygote (46 chromosomes or 23 pairs). This zygote is the first of cell of a new unique organism.  

This is the first cell of a new individual organism. The half amount chromosomes in gametes make sure the zygotes possess the identical number of chromosomes from generation to generation. This is vitally important for a steady sexual imitation by successive generations.

Meiosis enhances the genetic variation

Throughout the fertilization process, one gamete coming from every parent will combine to create a form of a zygote. Every gamete will contain a different set of DNA, and this will happen for a recombination process and self-regulating variety in meiosis. In addition, it will produce a unique blend of genes within the resulting zygote.

The recombination process takes place in prophase I. All homologous chromosomes – 1, extracted from every parent will pair along gene by gene and according to their lengths. There will also be breaks along the chromosomes, and they will rejoin to trade some their genes. As a result, the chromosomes will have a new combination of genes.

Furthermore, this self-regulating variety is commonly known as a process in which the chromosomes travel randomly to isolated poles in meiosis. In the end, the gamete will have 23 chromosomes after meiosis. However, the self-regulating variety also refers that every gamete will have one of many diverse combinations of chromosomes. Overall, this reshuffling process of genes to a unique combination enhances the genetic variation within humans. Thus, it clearly explains why siblings have similarities with the identical parents.