Drosophila has been a model system for meiosis since the discovery of nondisjunction. Subsequent studies have determined that crossing over is required for chromosome segregation, and identified proteins required for the pairing of chromosomes, initiating meiotic recombination, producing crossover events, and building a spindle to segregate the chromosomes. With a variety of genetic and cytological tools, Drosophila remains a model organism for the study of meiosis. This review focusses on meiosis in females because in male meiosis, the use of chiasmata to link homologous chromosomes has been replaced by a recombination-independent mechanism. Drosophila oocytes are also a good model for mammalian meiosis because of biological similarities such as long pauses between meiotic stages and the absence of centrosomes during the meiotic divisions.
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