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Genetics. 2004 Mar;166(3):1199-214.

Meiotic exchange and segregation in female mice heterozygous for paracentric inversions.

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Department of Genetics and the Center for Human Genetics, Case Western Reserve University and the University Hospitals of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-4955, USA.


Inversion heterozygosity has long been noted for its ability to suppress the transmission of recombinant chromosomes, as well as for altering the frequency and location of recombination events. In our search for meiotic situations with enrichment for nonexchange and/or single distal-exchange chromosome pairs, exchange configurations that are at higher risk for nondisjunction in humans and other organisms, we examined both exchange and segregation patterns in 2728 oocytes from mice heterozygous for paracentric inversions, as well as controls. We found dramatic alterations in exchange position in the heterozygotes, including an increased frequency of distal exchanges for two of the inversions studied. However, nondisjunction was not significantly increased in oocytes heterozygous for any inversion. When data from all inversion heterozygotes were pooled, meiotic nondisjunction was slightly but significantly higher in inversion heterozygotes (1.2%) than in controls (0%), although the frequency was still too low to justify the use of inversion heterozygotes as a model of human nondisjunction.

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