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The special cell division process by which the chromosome number of a reproductive cell becomes reduced to half (n) the diploid (2n) or somatic number. Two consecutive divisions occur. In the first division, homologous chromosomes became paired and may exchange genetic material (via crossing over) before moving away from each other into separate daughter nuclei (reduction division). These new nuclei divide by mitosis to produce four haploid nuclei. Meiosis results in the formation of gametes in animals or of spores in plants. It is an important source of variability through recombination.
Publication Source: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Publication Date: 1999
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