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Crossover is the process by which two chromosomes paired up during prophase I of meiosis exchange a distal portion of their DNA. Crossover occurs when two chromosomes, normally two homologous instances of the same chromosome, break and connect to each other's ends. If they break at the same locus, this merely results in an exchange of genes. This is the normal way in which crossover occurs. If they break at different loci, the result is a duplication of genes on one chromosome and a deletion on the other. If they break on opposite sides of the centromere, this results in one chromosome being lost during cell division.

Any pair of homologous chromosomes may be expected to cross over three or four times during meiosis. This aids evolution by increasing independent assortment, and reducing the genetic linkage between genes on the same chromosome.

For audio crossovers see electronic filters.