If heterozygotes for a reciprocal translocation are intercrossed, some of their viable balanced progeny result from the fusion of unbalanced gametes with complementary duplications and deficiencies of the translocated segments. Therefore, if one parent in such an intercross is homozygous for a genetic marker on one of the segments concerned, some homozygous offspring will be produced even if the other parent does not have the marker. The expected frequency of such exceptional offspring among live-born is one-sixth if the marker is on the distal (non-centromeric) side of the point of exchange and single chiasmata normally occur in each interstitial segment. Much lower frequencies are expected if the marker is on the centromeric side, since duplications and deficiencies of proximal segments occur only as a consequence of adjacent-2 disjunction, in which homologous centromeres proceed to the same pole. This is rarer than normal disjunction. Thus, by comparing the frequencies of offspring homozygous for markers on one or other side of the point of exchange, it is possible (i) to determine which marker is in the centromeric segment, (ii) to estimate the frequency of adjacent-2 disjunction, given information on the nature of meiotic configurations in the translocation concerned.
By this method, it is shown that the frequency of adjacent-2 disjunction is similar in heterozygotes for mouse translocations (T5;18)26H, T(13; ?) 70H and T(14;17)264Ca, averaging 13%. Centromeres were located at the Sd end of linkage group V (confirming previous findings), the fz end of XIII and the bg end of XIV.