Q.12:- What is the significance of meiosis?
The significance of meiosis is given below:-
(i) Formation of gametes – Meiosis forms gametes that are essential for sexual reproduction.
(ii) Genetic information – It switches on the genetic information for the development of gametes or gametophytes and switches off the sporophytic information.
(iii) Maintenance of chromosome number – Meiosis maintains the fixed number of chromosomes in sexually reproducing organisms by halving the same. It is essential since the chromosome number becomes double after fertilisation.
(iv) Assortment of chromosomes – In meiosis paternal and maternal chromosomes assort independently. It causes reshuffling of chromosomes and the traits controlled by them. The variations help the breeders in improving the races of useful plants and animals.
(v) Crossing over – It introduces new combination of traits or variations.
(vi) Mutations – Chromosomal and genomic mutations can take place by irregularities of meiotic divisions. Some of these mutations are useful to the organism and are perpetuated by natural selection.
(vii) Evidence of basic relationship of organisms – Details of meiosis are essentially similar in the majority of organisms showing their basic similarity and relationship.