Meiotic recombination break joints in the mouse major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are clustered within short segments known as hot spots. We systematically investigated the requirement for sequence homology between two chromosomes for recombination activity at the hot spot next to the Lmp2 gene. The results indicated that a high rate of recombination required a high degree of similarity of overall genome structure at the hot spot. In particular, the same copy number of repetitive sequences within the hot spot was essential for a high frequency of recombination, suggesting that recombination in mouse meiosis is more sensitive to heterozygous deletion or insertion of DNA than to mismatches of single-base substitutions.
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