Random Assortment

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•  Independent assortment of genes is due to the random orientation of pairs of homologous chromosomes 

    in meiosis I

Independent assortment describes how pairs of alleles separate independently from one another during gamete formation

  • According to independent assortment, the inheritance of one gene/trait is independent to the inheritance of any other gene/trait
  • Independent assortment is due to the random orientation of pairs of homologous chromosomes in meiosis I

During metaphase I, homologous chromosomes line up at the equator as bivalents in one of two arrangements:

  • Maternal copy left / paternal copy right  OR  paternal copy left / maternal copy right

The orientation of each homologous pair is random and is not affected by the orientation of any other homologous pair

  • This means an allele on one chromosome has an equal chance of being paired with, or separated from, any allele on another chromosome (their inheritance is independent of one another)

Independent assortment will not occur if two genes are located on the same chromosome (linked genes)

Independent Assortment of Genes via the Random Separation of Homologous Chromosomes

random gene assortment