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Plant Cell. Mar 1999; 11(3): 417–430.
PMCID: PMC144192

Isolation and characterization of SYN1, a RAD21-like gene essential for meiosis in Arabidopsis.


The proper pairing, recombination, and segregation of chromosomes are central to meiosis and sexual reproduction. The syn1 mutation was previously identified as a synaptic mutant in a T-DNA-tagged population of plants. SYN1 has been isolated and found to exhibit similarity to Schizosaccharomyces pombe RAD21 and RAD21-like proteins, which are required for chromosome condensation and sister chromatid cohesion during mitosis. Plants homozygous for syn1 are male and female sterile and show defects in chromosome condensation and pairing beginning at leptonema of meiosis I. Fragmentation of the chromosomes was observed at metaphase I. Alternative promoters produced two SYN1 transcripts. One transcript was expressed at low levels in most tissues, whereas the other was expressed only in prebolting buds. DNA blot analyses suggest that Arabidopsis contains a small RAD21 gene family. Consistent with the DNA blot data, a second Arabidopsis RAD21-like gene has been identified. These results suggest that different RAD21-like proteins play essential roles in chromosome condensation and pairing during both meiosis and mitosis.

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