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How does independent assortment of chromosomes operate during meiosis? In Meiosis I members of homologous pairs separate during anaphase. The separation of each pair is random with respect to all the other pairs. For each pair there is a maternal and a paternal chromosome which came from the mother and father respectively. There is no mechanism to cause maternal or paternal chromosomes to either associate with or repel one another. Therefore the orientation of each chromosome pairs is random with respect to other chromosome pairs. This is necessary for the independent assortment of genes, an important principle of genetics. It also allows for gametes, and thus offspring, to be much more genetically variable than they would be if all the paternal and maternal chromosomes were inherited as a unit.

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