How different can a pair of chromosomes be?

The Grouchybeast thegrouchybeast at
Tue Nov 28 08:21:48 EST 2000

My husband asked my a question I didn't know the answer to, so I thought
I'd ask here.

What degree of difference in size can be tolerated between two

For example, consider an insertion or deletion mutation which affects a
non-coding region of the chromosome.  How big an insertion or deletion
would it take to stop the chromosomes pairing up properly during cell
division?  Suppose there were many small insertions and deletions
scattered along the chromosome?

Obviously, there is some toleration of size difference within a pair of
chromosomes, but how much?  A percentage estimate would be nice (he's an
engineer, he likes numbers :-)

I see you standing there, far out along the way,
   I want to touch you but, the night becomes the day.
I count the words that I am never going to say,
   And I see you, in midnight blue.    (ELO - Midnight Blue)

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