Why Is Meiosis Important For Organisms?

Meiosis is important because it ensures that all organisms produced via sexual reproduction contain the correct number of chromosomes. Meiosis also produces genetic variation by way of the process of recombination.

In meiosis, variation occurs, because each gamete (either sperm or egg) contains a mixture of genes from two different parent chromosomes in sexual reproduction. In other words, the genetic coupling of non-identical DNA takes place in meiosis.

It results in an offspring, which has the genetic material of two different individuals.

These chromosomes contain the basic DNA chain, which determines the physical and genetic characteristics of the child.

why is meiosis important for organisms?

A new combination of genetic information is produced in the gametes. Therefore, in meiosis, the characteristics of parent chromosomes are combined with the characteristics of offspring chromosomes, which ultimately results in a new and unique set of chromosomes.

It enables individuals to produce physically and genetically unique offspring. Because of this, a high genetic diversity of a population is maintained.

With mitosis, only division would have been possible and there would have been no sharing of genetic information.

In such a situation, there would have been only clonal populations, which would eventually suffer from diseases or natural disasters.

What is the explanation for the diversity in populations? How can they survive variations in the environment? The reason is meiosis. Genetic variation plays the role of a raw material for natural selection.

Some individuals who are favored by natural selection have greater fitness than others because of their alleles (pair of alternative forms of gene).

In case of animals, males that are unable to compete for mates, for example, succumb to predation or disease or fail to reproduce; small and weak organisms don’t survive for long time. These are the best examples of natural selection.

You can also take an example of a disease to which some individuals will be at least partially resistant while others are susceptible to it.

A population can adapt to changes in the environment as a result of the genetic variation resulting from meiosis. However, in clonal asexual populations, organisms are not able to adapt to changes without mutations.

Organisms which adapt to changes in the environment, survive, while others get eliminated by natural selection. In this way, a population contains fit individuals and the process continues for generations together.

The diversity afforded by meiosis is beneficial for the population as a whole.

Thus, meiosis helps to create a population that is not only physically and genetically different but also one, which is perfectly fit to survive.

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