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BIO 140 Human Biology I - Questions and Solutions

The Process of Meiosis - Solutions

Review Questions

1. Meiosis produces ________ daughter cells.

  1. two haploid
  2. two diploid
  3. four haploid
  4. four diploid

2. What structure is most important in forming the tetrads?

  1. centromere
  2. synaptonemal complex
  3. chiasma
  4. kinetochore

3. At which stage of meiosis are sister chromatids separated from each other?

  1. prophase I
  2. prophase II
  3. anaphase I
  4. anaphase II

4. At metaphase I, homologous chromosomes are connected only at what structures?

  1. chiasmata
  2. recombination nodules
  3. microtubules
  4. kinetochores

5. Which of the following is not true in regard to crossover?

  1. Spindle microtubules guide the transfer of DNA across the synaptonemal complex.
  2. Non-sister chromatids exchange genetic material.
  3. Chiasmata are formed.
  4. Recombination nodules mark the crossover point.

6. What phase of mitotic interphase is missing from meiotic interkinesis?

  1. G0 phase
  2. G1 phase
  3. S phase
  4. G2 phase

7. The part of meiosis that is similar to mitosis is ________.

  1. meiosis I
  2. anaphase I
  3. meiosis II
  4. interkinesis

8. If a muscle cell of a typical organism has 32 chromosomes, how many chromosomes will be in a gamete of that same organism?

  1. 8
  2. 16
  3. 32
  4. 64


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Critical Thinking Questions

1. Describe the process that results in the formation of a tetrad.

Solution: During the meiotic interphase, each chromosome is duplicated. The sister chromatids that are formed during synthesis are held together at the centromere region by cohesin proteins. All chromosomes are attached to the nuclear envelope by their tips. As the cell enters prophase I, the nuclear envelope begins to fragment, and the proteins holding homologous chromosomes locate each other. The four sister chromatids align lengthwise, and a protein lattice called the synaptonemal complex is formed between them to bind them together. The synaptonemal complex facilitates crossover between non-sister chromatids, which is observed as chiasmata along the length of the chromosome. As prophase I progresses, the synaptonemal complex breaks down and the sister chromatids become free, except where they are attached by chiasmata. At this stage, the four chromatids are visible in each homologous pairing and are called a tetrad.

2. Explain how the random alignment of homologous chromosomes during metaphase I contributes to the variation in gametes produced by meiosis.

Solution: Random alignment leads to new combinations of traits. The chromosomes that were originally inherited by the gamete-producing individual came equally from the egg and the sperm. In metaphase I, the duplicated copies of these maternal and paternal homologous chromosomes line up across the center of the cell. The orientation of each tetrad is random. There is an equal chance that the maternally derived chromosomes will be facing either pole. The same is true of the paternally derived chromosomes. The alignment should occur differently in almost every meiosis. As the homologous chromosomes are pulled apart in anaphase I, any combination of maternal and paternal chromosomes will move toward each pole. The gametes formed from these two groups of chromosomes will have a mixture of traits from the individual’s parents. Each gamete is unique.

3. What is the function of the fused kinetochore found on sister chromatids in prometaphase I?

Solution: In metaphase I, the homologous chromosomes line up at the metaphase plate. In anaphase I, the homologous chromosomes are pulled apart and move to opposite poles. Sister chromatids are not separated until meiosis II. The fused kinetochore formed during meiosis I ensures that each spindle microtubule that binds to the tetrad will attach to both sister chromatids.

4. In a comparison of the stages of meiosis to the stages of mitosis, which stages are unique to meiosis and which stages have the same events in both meiosis and mitosis?

Solution: All of the stages of meiosis I, except possibly telophase I, are unique because homologous chromosomes are separated, not sister chromatids. In some species, the chromosomes do not decondense and the nuclear envelopes do not form in telophase I. All of the stages of meiosis II have the same events as the stages of mitosis, with the possible exception of prophase II. In some species, the chromosomes are still condensed and there is no nuclear envelope. Other than this, all processes are the same.


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OpenStax, The Process of Meiosis. OpenStax CNX. Feb 24, 2014 http://cnx.org/contents/198652dc-30cf-4065-9bbf-80fe4e1f123b@8. © Feb 24, 2014 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 license.