Dictionary > Synaptonemal complex

Synaptonemal complex

Definition
noun, plural: synaptonemal complexes
A complex protein structure that spans the region between the paired homologous chromosomes in prophase I of meiosis I
Supplement
Meiosis is form of cell division that gives rise to genetically diverse sex cells or gametes. It is comprised to two successive nuclear divisions namely meiosis I and meiosis II. Meiosis I is comprised of four stages: prophase I, metaphase I, anaphase I, and telophase I. Prophase I is the first stage and consists of the following sub-stages: leptotene, zygotene, pachytene, diplotene and diakinesis.
The synaptonemal complex is a zipper-like proteinaceous structure that is formed during prophase I of meiosis I. It is evident particularly during the zygotene stage. Prior to zygotene, the chromosomes begin to condense and at this stage the chromomeres become more discernible as beadlike structures along the chromosome. These chromomeres aid in the pairing of homologous chromosomes. The complete pairing or coming together of homologous chromosomes (called synapsis) takes place in zygotene. Synapsis may be facilitated by the synaptonemal complex. The complex aids in the stabilization of the pairing of homologous chromosomes and promotes the formation of chromosomal crossovers.1
Abbreviation / Acronym: SC
Variant:

  • synaptinemal complex

See also:

  • meiosis
  • meiosis I
  • prophase I
  • zygotene
  • Reference(s):

    1 Heyting, C. (1996). Synaptonemal complexes: structure and function. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 8(3):389-96.


    You will also like...

    Hormone Production
    Hormone Production

    Hormones are chemical messengers produced by specialized glands and they were produced by switching on the genes designe..

    Kidneys
    Kidneys and Regulation of Water and Inorganic Ions

    The kidneys are responsible for the regulation of water and inorganic ions. Read this tutorial to learn about the differ..

    Muscle
    Muscle

    Muscle cells are specialized to generate force and movement. Learn about the different types of muscle tissues in this t..

    An artist depiction of a Precambrian multicellular life form.
    The Evolution of Cell Organelles

    The nucleus containing the genetic material, DNA, and the mitochondria, well-identified as the "powerhouse of the cell",..

    New Zealand Flora & Fauna
    Ecology & Biodiversity: New Zealand Flora & Fauna

    New Zealand is known for its unique biodiversity, caused by its remarkable geography and geologic history. Breaking away..

    Photosynthesis and respiration
    Plant Metabolism

    Plants are responsible for incredible feats of molecular transformation. Plant processes, such as photosynthesis, photop..