NHGRI logo
Chromosome spread

​Linkage

updated: September 25, 2022

Definition

Linkage, as related to genetics and genomics, refers to the closeness of genes or other DNA sequences to one another on the same chromosome. The closer two genes or sequences are to each other on a chromosome, the greater the probability that they will be inherited together.



Narration

Linkage. Linkages, simply put, are the close location of genes or other DNA markers to each other on chromosomes. The closer the genes are to each other on a chromosome, the more likely they are linked or inherited together from parents to offspring. Closely linked genes are less likely to experience recombination or crossing over between them during meiosis, which is the production of sperm or egg cells. Less distance between two genes means there is less physical space on a chromosome for the biological process of the exchange of DNA to occur.

Kris Wetterstrand, M.S.
Kris A. Wetterstrand, M.S.

Scientific Liaison to the Director for Extramural Activities

Office of the Director