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Genetics. 1998 Feb; 148(2): 581–598.
PMCID: PMC1459833

Yeast meiotic mutants proficient for the induction of ectopic recombination.


A screen was designed to identify Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants that were defective in meiosis yet proficient for meiotic ectopic recombination in the return-to-growth protocol. Seven mutants alleles were isolated; two are important for chromosome synapsis (RED1, MEK1) and five function independently of recombination (SPO14, GSG1, SPOT8/MUM2, 3, 4). Similar to the spoT8-1 mutant, mum2 deletion strains do not undergo premeiotic DNA synthesis, arrest prior to the first meiotic division and fail to sporulate. Surprisingly, although DNA replication does not occur, mum2 mutants are induced for high levels of ectopic recombination. gsg1 diploids are reduced in their ability to complete premeiotic DNA synthesis and the meiotic divisions, and a small percentage of cells produce spores. mum3 mutants sporulate poorly and the spores produced are inviable. Finally, mum4-1 mutants produce inviable spores. The meiotic/sporulation defects of gsg1, mum2, and mum3 are not relieved by spo11 or spo13 mutations, indicating that the mutant defects are not dependent on the initiation of recombination or completion of both meiotic divisions. In contrast, the spore inviability of the mum4-1 mutant is rescued by the spo13 mutation. The mum4-1 spo13 mutant undergoes a single, predominantly equational division, suggesting that MUM4 functions at or prior to the first meiotic division. Although recombination is variably affected in the gsg1 and mum mutants, we hypothesize that these mutants define genes important for aspects of meiosis not directly related to recombination.

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