Meiotic drive

A. N. Srinivasa and S. E. Zanders,  Current Biology,  30:R627-R629. 2020.

What is meiotic drive? Diploid organisms, like you, have two copies of each autosomal chromosome, one from each parent. Sometimes organisms are heterozygous at a given region, meaning they carry different copies (or alleles) of the DNA sequence on the two homologous chromosomes. Generally, the alternative alleles at a given site have an equal chance of being transmitted into the next generation by way of gametes (like sperm or eggs). A man with XY sex chromosomes, for example, will generate an equal number of X-bearing and Y-bearing sperm. This will lead him to father male and female offspring with equal probability. This Mendelian allele transmission constitutes one of the foundational laws of genetics. Meiotic drivers are alleles that break this law and force their transmission into more than half or sometimes even all of the progeny.


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