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