Chiasma formation: chromatin/axis interplay and the role(s) of the synaptonemal complex

Chromosoma. 2006 Jun;115(3):175-94. doi: 10.1007/s00412-006-0055-7. Epub 2006 Mar 23.


Meiotic recombination proceeds in biochemical complexes that are physically associated with underlying chromosome structural axes. In this study, we discuss the organizational basis for these axes, the timing and nature of recombinosome/axis organization with respect to the prophase program of DNA and to structural changes, and the possible significance of axis organization. Furthermore, we discuss implications and extensions of our recently proposed mechanical model for chiasma formation. Finally, we give a broader consideration to past and present models for the role of the synaptonemal complex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Chromatin / physiology*
  • Chromosome Pairing / genetics*
  • Crossing Over, Genetic / physiology*
  • Meiosis
  • Models, Biological*
  • Synaptonemal Complex / physiology*


  • Chromatin