How different can a pair of chromosomes be?

Michael L. Sullivan mlsulliv at
Tue Nov 28 10:08:10 EST 2000

Anna, you mean during meiosis, right?

Don't have a number, sorry, but just thinking about it, the natural example
would be the X and Y chomosomes, which must pair up for meiosis.  These two
differ considerably in size, but still manage to pair up.  Somebody else
probably has a better answer, but that was my quick one.


>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)

Michael L. Sullivan, Ph.D

U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center
1925 Linden Drive West
Madison WI, 53706

(608) 264-5144 Phone
(608) 264-5147 Fax


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