Independent assortment

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(genetics) The process of random segregation and assortment of chromosomes during anaphase I of meiosis resulting in the production of genetically unique gametes.


Gregor Mendel, a monk, who came up with the Laws of Inheritance, including the Law of Independent Assortment (which refers to the random assortment of alleles of unlinked loci) to describe the transmission of genes from parent organisms to their offspring.

The Law of Independent Assortment speaks of alleles of a gene separating independently from alleles of another gene. Hence, the inheritance pattern of one trait will not affect the inheritance pattern of another.

For instance, the gene for the eye color is inherited independently from the gene for hair color. That is, not all individuals with brown eyes will always have a black hair color; others may still have a different hair color. It is because the gene coding for the eye color separates independently (and randomly) from the gene coding for the hair color during formation of gametes (meiosis).

Independent assortment of genes is important to produce new genetic combinations that increase genetic variations within a population.


Related forms: Law of Independent Assortment
See also: Mendelian inheritance, meiosis

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