What Is Law Of Independent Assortment?

independent assortment

The Law of Independent Assortment outlines how children inherit two of their parents’ genetic characteristics randomly. However, the Law of Segregation suggests that while the meiotic division takes place, the homologous chromosomes stay distinct from each other. Consequently, both paternal and maternal chromosomes are separately arranged. 

It means, chromosomes contained in one gamete do not always end up in the same source after division. As a consequence, one gamete may end up with all the chromosomes from the maternal source. But, there may be another gamete that will have chromosomes from the paternal, and maternal genes. So, let’s find out what the law of independent assortment is all about.

What Is Independent Assortment?

Mendel’s law of independent assortment suggests even while genes on the same chromosome are not randomly arranged, the meiosis crossover enables them to reorganize. The interchange of homologous chromosomes happens in both paternal and maternal chromosomes in this phase. It enables the independent assortment of connected genes. 

The law of independent assortment definition suggests the final chromosomes are haphazardly distributed if you combine the paternal and maternal chromosomes. As a result of the generation of previously unknown gene mixes, distinct gene combinations cause a considerable deal of variation across individuals.

Finally, the zygote contains a mixture of chromosomes than a set of features from each parent. As a result, chromosomes are regarded to be independently arranged, resulting in a zygote with a mix of maternal and paternal chromosomes

But, since each gamete has 23 chromosomes and there are two gametes, the total number of potential combinations is 223, or 8,388,608. These many options provide for a lot of variation in progeny genes. Thus, the impact of gene variation on evolution and evolutionary processes is significant according to the independent assortment law.

Principle Of Independent Assortment:

Principle Of Independent Assortment

During metaphase I of meiotic division, eukaryotes undergo independent assortment in meiosis. It results in a gamete with mixed chromosomes. In a diploid somatic cell, gametes have half the number of normal chromosomes. 

Thus, gametes are haploid cells that will sexually reproduce by combining two haploid gametes. It will generate a diploid zygote with the entire set of chromosomes. The random distribution of chromosomes during metaphase in regard to other chromosomes provides the physical foundation.

Along with crossing over, the independent assortment of chromosomes is responsible for the generation of novel genetic combinations in the organism. Thus, it includes the genetic diversity of a eukaryote.

You must know the rules of segregation if you want to define independent assortment. Separate gamete cells obtain two different genes at the time of meiosis, as the law of segregation suggests. The two maternal and paternal DNA, on the other hand, are randomly separated, allowing for more gene variety. 

During the random partition of maternal and paternal DNA sources, the law of independent assortment is evident. The gamete may get maternal genes, paternal genes, or a combination of both due to random assortment. The genetic distribution is based on the random alignment of these chromosomes during the early stages of meiosis.

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When Does Independent Assortment Occur? 

When Does Independent Assortment Occur?

Mendel bred wrinkled green pea plants and round yellow pea plants to prove the law of independent assortment. When he partnered the peas, all the F1 peas inherited the prevalent features of yellow and round peas. He also noticed that the F2 peas inherited the characteristics of both, round yellow and wrinkled green peas.

Each dominant characteristic was found in 34% of the progeny, whereas each recessive trait was found in 14% of the progeny. It shows how each gene assorts independently. 

The four conceivable color and shape combinations emerged in the ratio 9:3:3:1, indicating that the genes for the two pairs of features were distributed randomly inside the gametes.

Independent events suggest that 34 x 34 = 9/16 will be both yellow and round if you have 34 yellow and 34 round. The proportions of the remaining three combinations may be computed in the same way.

Recombination is another property of independent assortment. Recombination happens during the independent assortment in meiosis. It is a process in which fragments of DNA are broken and recombined to create new gene combinations. Recombination scrambles maternal and paternal gene segments, ensuring that genes assort separately. 

It’s worth noting that, due to genetic linkage, there is an exception to the law of independent assortment. It indicates genes that are relatively near to one another on the identical chromosome.

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Independent Assortment Examples:

Gregor Mandel experimented with pea plants in a number of ways to find out how independent assortment works. As a consequence, he was able to figure out how heredity’s units, which are now known as genes thanks to the discovery of DNA and genetic information, and function.

Mendel was doing dihybrid crosses, which are crosses between organisms with two characteristics that vary. So, when the alleles from two genes are arranged into gametes, this is known as independent assortment. Consequently, one gamete’s allele doesn’t contain any burden on the alleles of other gametes.

The transfer of distinct genes looked to be separate occurrences, according to Mendel. The likelihood of a specific amalgamation of qualities in different instances may be anticipated if you multiply the probability of each attribute. The inheritance pattern of one feature will not alter the inheritance pattern of another in isolated circumstances.


1: Where Does Independent Assortment Occur?

Ans: Independent Assortment Occurs during meiosis when the chromosomes are separated in anaphase I. It creates gametes with distinct chromosomal combinations. It takes place in eukaryotes and the gametes have half regular chromosomes than a somatic cell.

2: How Do You Determine Independent Assortment?

Ans: When we see two genes have acquired different features of their parents independently, it denotes independent assortment. Thus, the probability and combination of genes are estimated if we multiply each of their probabilities.

3: What Does Independent Assortment Result?

Ans: Independent Assortment result in gametes having distinct reposition of chromosomes. Thus, the gene formation of each child ends up having a complete set of the chromosome which includes assorted alleles of individual parents. 

Final Thoughts

The law of Independent Assortment shows how different genes separate from each other when the reproductive cells come into maturation. Gregor Mendel discovered the independent arrangement of genes and their related properties in pea plants in 1865 while studying genetics.

He noticed that the combinations of qualities in the progeny of his crossings didn’t always match the parental organisms’ combinations of attributes. He developed the Principle of Independent Assortment based on these findings. So, if you want to know more about independent assortment law, you can let us know in the comment section.

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