synaptonemal complex

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synaptonemal complex A ribbon-like complex of proteins that binds together the members of each homologous pair of chromosomes during pairing (synapsis) in prophase of the first division of meiosis. Formation of the complex begins at the telomeres, which at this stage are attached to the nuclear envelope, and proceeds along the length of the chromosomes, ‘zipping’ them together so that matching regions are aligned.