Seminar Details

Seminar Details


Apr 28

3:30 pm

A Statistician Looks at Meiosis

Terry Speed


University of California, Berkeley

Meiosis is the two-stage division process through which diploid cells produce haploid gametes (sex cells) such as sperm and ova in animals, or pollen and ovules in plants. Mendelian segregation occurs during meiosis, that is, an organism which is Aa at a locus produces gametes 50% of which have a at that locus, and the other 50% A. Genetical linkage and recombination are also meiotic phenomena, these referring to the co-segregation of alleles at two or more loci. Classically they concern the transmission from parent to gamete of A or a at one locus jointly with B or b at another. The canonical biological model for recombination, or more generally meiosis, is stochastic, involving random choices among finitely many alternatives and stochastic point processes along chromosomes. In the late 1940s, R A Fisher and colleagues discussed a number of aspects of this biological process, and in in this talk I will introduce and update Fisher's work within a slightly broader context.