Asked Nov 11, 2019

How does independent assortment, crossing over and random fertilization contribute to genetic variation in sexually reproducing organisms?


Expert Answer

Step 1

Genetic variation refers to diversity in gene frequencies. Genetic variation can be referred to as the differences between individuals or to differences between populations.

The major reason for genetic variation is the pattern of sexual reproduction. However, mutations also lead to genetic variation.

As Darwin’s theory of evolution clearly states that there is ‘survival of the fittest’, therefore, we can say that genetic variation is highly necessary to maintain the ecology.

Step 2

Sexual reproduction leads to infinite possibilities of genetic variation. In other words, sexual reproduction results in offspring that are genetically unique. They differ in distinctive manner from both the parents and also from each other.

This genetic variation occurs through a number of mechanisms, including

  1. crossing-over,
  2. the independent assortment of chromosomes during anaphase I, and
  3. random 
Step 3

Crossing over – Crossing over can occur when the homologous chromosomes form pairs during prophase I of meiosis I. Crossing-over refers to the exchange of genetic material between non-sister chromatids of homologous chromosomes. It results in new combinations of genes...

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