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Am J Hum Genet. 2003 Jul;73(1):188-97. Epub 2003 May 22.

Crossover interference in humans.

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  • 1Departments of Mathematics and Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA. ehouswor@indiana.edu


Crossing-over between homologous chromosomes facilitates proper disjunction of chromosomes during meiosis I. In many organisms, gene functions that are essential to crossing-over also facilitate the intimate chromosome pairing called "synapsis." Many organisms--including budding yeast, humans, zebrafish, Drosophila, and Arabidopsis--regulate the distribution of crossovers, so that, most of the time, each chromosome bundle gets at least one crossover while the mean number of crossovers per chromosome remains modest. This regulation is obtained through crossover interference. Recent evidence suggests that the organisms that use recombination functions to achieve synapsis have two classes of crossovers, only one of which is subject to interference. We statistically test this two-pathway hypothesis in the CEPH data and find evidence to support the two-pathway hypothesis in humans.

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