The third stage of the prophase of meiosis, following zygotene, during which the paired chromosomes shorten and thicken, the two chromatids of each separate, and exchange of segments between chromatids may occur.
- Zygotene and pachytene chromosomes can be distinguished by their different morphology due to the extent of synapsis.
- In addition, Creighton used pachytene stage chromosomes to continue deletion mapping studies.
- This structural heterozygosity correlates with both a previously described recombination block and cytologically visible unpaired chromosomes at pachytene.
Early 20th century: from Greek pakhus 'thick' + tainia 'band'.
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