A cost-benefit analysis of recombination was undertaken. The beneficial effects of crossing-over are proportional to the frequency of recombinant offspring, while its harmful effects (errors of crossing-over leading to mutations) are proportional to the number of crossover exchanges. An equilibrium point should exist where the beneficial effects of crossing-over are balanced by its harmful effects. It is suggested that natural selection sustains a number of crossover exchanges per meiosis at the level that provides highest benefit-cost difference. Chiasma interference prevents the arising of closely located exchanges which are less effective in the production of recombinants than exchanges separated by some "interference distance". Computer simulation shows that chiasma interference increases the recombination effectiveness of the multiple crossover exchanges as compared to the case without interference.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.