Variations Produced by Meiosis

Emma Cordes

Independent Assortment

Independent Assortment is a process that takes place in eukaryotes. It involves different genes independently separating from one another when reproductive cells develop. This produces random combinations of the genes from each pair, which then appear in the gametes.

Crossing Over

Crossing Over is one of the final phases of genetic recombination. It is the exchange of genetic material between homologous chromosomes, which results in new combinations of genes that are different from either parent. This contributes to genetic diversity.


Fertilization involves the union of a male (sperm) and female (egg) gamete, and its product is called a zygote. This process produces random combinations of genetically diverse sperm and eggs, which allows unlimited outcomes for variation. Fertilization is what makes every human being genetically different.


Mutations are occasional uncorrected mistakes that occur when copying a cell's genetic information during cell replication. These mistakes introduce changes into the genetic code. Certain environmental factors can increase the number of mutations that may occur in cells.


Nondisjunction is when chromosomes within the cell don't separate the way they're supposed to, causing both chromosomes to go to a single daughter cell. This mistake in the meiotic process is responsible for extra and/or missing chromosomes that may lead to birth defects or miscarriages.