, Volume 102, Issue 2, pp 71–80 | Cite as

Sex chromosomes, recombination, and chromatin conformation

  • Bruce D. McKee
  • Mary Ann Handel
Chromosoma Focus


We review what is known about the transcriptional inactivation and condensation of heteromorphic sex chromosomes in contrast to the activation of homomorphic sex chromosomes during meiotic prephase in animals. We relate these cytological and transcriptional features to the recombination status of the sex chromosomes. We propose that sex chromosome condensation is a meiotic adaptation to prevent the initiation of potentially damaging recombination events in nonhomologous regions of the X and Y chromosome.


Developmental Biology Recombination Event Chromosome Condensation Chromatin Conformation Transcriptional Inactivation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce D. McKee
    • 1
  • Mary Ann Handel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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