The initiation of meiotic chromosome pairing: the cytological view

Genome. 1990 Dec;33(6):759-78. doi: 10.1139/g90-115.


Opposing views are held with respect to the time when and the mechanisms whereby homologous chromosomes find each other for meiotic synapsis. On the one hand, some evidence has been presented for somatic homologous associations or some other kind of relationship between chromosomes in somatic cells as a preliminary to meiotic pairing. On the other hand, it is argued by many that homologous contacts are first established at meiotic prophase prior to, or in the course of, synaptonemal complex formation. The present paper reviews the controversial cytological evidence, hypotheses, and ideas on how the first contact between homologous chromosomes comes about.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosomes / physiology*
  • Colchicine / pharmacology
  • Genes
  • Meiosis*
  • Plants / genetics
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid


  • Colchicine