Meiosis160-page2 - Meiosis and Life Cycles 2 Meiosis and...

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Meiosis and Life Cycles - 2 Meiosis and Genetic Variation Meiosis is necessary to ensure that each new generation has the same chromosome number as the preceding generation, but meiosis has a second function for living organisms: maintaining genetic variation. Each time meiosis occurs, followed by, at some point, sexual reproduction, the new individual formed is genetically different from either parent. Because meiosis is involved with genetic variation and is needed for sexual reproduction, we need to mention a few things about genetic inheritance and sexual reproduction to better understand why meiosis is so important. Gene variations are found on the homologous chromosomes of diploid organisms. As discussed, homologous chromosomes are physically similar and have equivalent genetic information, the information carried on our genes. But the genetic information on each homolog may differ in specifics, a primary source of variation among the individuals within a species.
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