Improving the chances of finding the right partner

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2009 Apr;19(2):99-104. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2009.02.006. Epub 2009 Mar 26.


Recognition and pairing of homologous chromosomes are absolutely required for successful segregation during meiosis. We still have no model, however, that adequately explains the mechanism of these processes in a quantitative way. The fact that homologue pairing takes similar times across several orders of magnitude in genome size rules out simple, linear homology searching mechanisms. Although homology searching must ultimately depend on DNA sequence comparisons, a number of more specific mechanisms have been described in different organisms, including telomere clustering, centromere association and interaction of specific pairing sequences. These mechanisms can be interpreted as limiting the required search and thus improving the efficiency of pairing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Centromere / genetics*
  • Chromosome Pairing / genetics*
  • Chromosomes, Plant / genetics
  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded
  • Meiosis / genetics
  • Models, Genetic
  • Telomere / genetics*