General recombination, as distinct from site-specific recombination, occurs between two molecules of DNA with homologous nucleotide sequences (or, in eucaryotes between two homologous chromosomes) and results in the reciprocal exchange of DNA sequences between these molecules. The recombinational process is of fundamental importance as it is both the main tool of genetic analysis, permitting the construction of genetic (linkage) maps, and it is used, both in nature and by the experimentalist, to combine into a single genotype the most favourable combinations of genes; in the absence of recombination every chromosome would have a ‘fixed’ genetic content changeable only by mutation, and all the genes on it would show complete linkage.
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References and related reading
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