What is the significance of meiosis?
The significance of meiosis is given below:
(i) Formation of gametes – Meiosis forms gametes that are essential for sexual reproduction.
(ii) Genetic information – It switches on the genetic information for the development of gametes or gametophytes and switches off the sporophytic information. ‘
(iii) Maintenance of chromosome number – Meiosis maintains the fixed number of chromosomes in sexually reproducing organisms by halving the same. It is essential since the chromosome number becomes double after fertilisation.
(iv) Assortment of chromosomes – In meiosis paternal and maternal chromosomes assort independently. It causes reshuffling of chromosomes and the traits controlled by them. The variations help the breeders in improving the races of useful plants and animals.
(v) Crossing over – It introduces new combination of traits or variations.
(vi) Mutations – Chromosomal and genomic mutations can take place by irregularities of meiotic divisions. Some of these mutations are useful to the organism and are perpetuated by natural selection.
(vii) Evidence of basic relationship of organisms – Details of meiosis are essentially similar in the majority of organisms showing their basic similarity and relationship.
Meiosis is the process involving the reduction in the amount of genetic material. It comprises two successive nuclear and cell divisions, with a single cycle of DNA replication. As a result, at the end of meiosis II, four haploid cells are formed.
Significance of meiosis
1. Meiosis maintains the chromosome number from generation to generation. It reduces the chromosome number to half so that the process of fertilisation restores the original number in the zygote.
2. Variations are caused by the cross-over and the random distribution of homologous chromosomes between daughter cells. Variations play an important role in evolution.
3. Chromosomal mutations are brought about by the introduction of certain abnormalities. These chromosomal mutations may be advantageous for an individual.
Video Tutorials For All Subjects
- Significance of Meiosis