Why Is Meiosis Important for Sexual Reproduction?

meiosis-important-sexual-reproduction Credit: Ben Babock/CC-BY-2.0

Meiosis is important because it reduces the number of chromosomes by half allowing sexual reproduction to occur. If meiosis did not happen, the cell would have too many DNA pairs. This would result in the death of the cell or other life-threatening complications with offspring.

Meiosis also helps introduce genetic variations. This can occur in one of three ways: crossing over of homologous chromosome pairs during prophase 1, independent assortment of homologous pairs during metaphase 1 and random chance fertilization. The four daughter cells, which are a result of meiosis, will all have a various combination of genetic material from the parents due to one of these three variations.