Heterochromatin: a meiotic matchmaker?

Trends Cell Biol. 1997 May;7(5):201-5. doi: 10.1016/S0962-8924(97)01034-9.


During meiosis, the pairing of chromosomes is crucial for a successful partitioning of the genetic material and its transmission into the developing gamete. The classical view of meiotic pairing involves recombination between homologues as an integral part of the pairing mechanism. But, in cases where no recombination occurs, how do chromosome partners find one another? And how do they pair up and then segregate appropriately? Recently, a combination of molecular genetics and fluorescence in situ hybridization appears to have provided an answer to these questions by demonstrating a crucial role for heterochromatin in chromosome pairing.