Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Inversion Polymorphism

Polymorphism for one or more chromosome inversions maintained in a population. Inversion polymorphisms are rare except in species that have evolved specific mechanisms (such as meiotic crossover absence in one or both sexes, as in Drosophila) because of the cost of zygote wastage whenever an odd number of crossovers occurs within the limits of an inversion heterozygote, resulting in duplications and deletions. Inversions thus ‘suppress’ crossovers and result in greater functional (not physical) linkage among loci within the inversion.

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