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What is the role of meiosis in gamete formation, and how does it relate to genetic diversity?

Meiosis is the process of cell division that produces gametes, and it plays a crucial role in genetic diversity.

During meiosis, a diploid cell undergoes two rounds of division, resulting in four haploid cells. This process ensures that each gamete contains only one set of chromosomes, which is essential for sexual reproduction. Meiosis also introduces genetic diversity through three mechanisms: independent assortment, crossing over, and random fertilisation.

Independent assortment occurs during the first division of meiosis, where homologous chromosomes line up randomly at the equator. This means that the maternal and paternal chromosomes can be arranged in any combination, resulting in a vast number of possible combinations.

Crossing over occurs during prophase I of meiosis, where homologous chromosomes exchange segments of DNA. This process creates new combinations of alleles, further increasing genetic diversity.

Finally, random fertilisation occurs when any sperm can fertilise any egg, resulting in a unique combination of genetic material in the offspring.

Overall, meiosis is crucial for gamete formation and genetic diversity. It ensures that each gamete contains only one set of chromosomes and introduces genetic variation through independent assortment, crossing over, and random fertilisation. This diversity is essential for the survival of a species and allows for adaptation to changing environments.

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