Why does an organism go through meiosis?
Meiosis produces gametes (sex cells) need to generate offspring for eukaryotic organisms. Parents have 2n chromosomes and produce gametes of 1n which combine to form a 2n organism containing genetic material from both parents. For example, normal humans have 46 chromosomes, 23 from each parent’s gamete. This allows for offspring to have varying combinations of genes. During meiosis, the chromosomes divide twice and each chromosome is randomly assorted so there are 23^4 combinations of genes, without including crossing over. Meiosis is one of the greatest sources of genetic variation for eukaryotic organisms.