Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Recombination

1. any of several processes giving rise to recombinants; usually, where the linkage groups of parental organisms are reshuffled in progeny, thus giving rise to new combinations of genotypes or haplotypes while maintaining the alleles that were present in the parents; in eukaryotes the two most common mechanisms of recombination are whole chromatid segregation, and crossing over (recombination within linkage groups). In meiotic crossing over, DNA is normally exchanged between either homologous or sister chromatids. Recombination tends, in the absence of other factors, to make the alleles of different loci appear in random (or independent) proportions in haplotypes. An allele A1 at one locus will then be found with alleles B1 and B2 at another locus in the same proportions as B1 and B2 as a whole; this condition is called linkage equilibrium.

Cf. linkage disequilibrium.

2. In biotechnology, the synthetic production of recombinant DNA by genetic engineering.

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