Define Genetic Recombination

Genetic recombination, commonly referred to as genetic reshuffling, is the interchange of genetic elements between various species that produces offspring with combined characteristics distinct from either parent. In eukaryotes, meiosis-induced genetic recombination can produce a unique set of genetic material that can then be transferred from parents to children.

Genetic recombination can be of the following types:

  • Homologous recombination takes place between DNA molecules with related sequences. During meiosis, our cells engage in homologous recombination.
  • Nonhomologous recombination involves DNA molecules that aren’t necessarily related to one another.
  • Site-specific recombination occurs between specific, short sequences, typically having similarities.
  • Mitotic recombination occurs during interphase, the rest period between mitotic divisions, not during mitosis. Radiation exposure causes cells to undergo more of this kind of recombination.

Genetic recombination in prokaryotic cells occurs by one of these three methods:

  • Conjugation
  • Transformation
  • Transduction

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