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Genetics. Sep 2003; 165(1): 47–63.
PMCID: PMC1462766

Patterns of heteroduplex formation associated with the initiation of meiotic recombination in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.


The double-strand break repair (DSBR) model of recombination predicts that heteroduplexes will be formed in regions that flank the double-strand break (DSB) site and that the resulting intermediate is resolved to generate either crossovers or noncrossovers for flanking markers. Previous studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, however, failed to detect heteroduplexes on both sides of the DSB site. Recent physical studies suggest that some recombination events involve heterodupex formation by a mechanism, synthesis-dependent strand annealing (SDSA), that is inherently asymmetric with respect to the DSB site and that leads exclusively to noncrossovers of flanking markers. Below, we demonstrate that many of the recombination events initiated at the HIS4 recombination hotspot are consistent with a variant of the DSBR model in which the extent of heteroduplex on one side of the DSB site is much greater than that on the other. Events that include only one flanking marker in the heteroduplex (unidirectional events) are usually resolved as noncrossovers, whereas events that include both flanking markers (bidirectional events) are usually resolved as crossovers. The unidirectional events may represent SDSA, consistent with the conclusions of others, although other possibilities are not excluded. We also show that the level of recombination reflects the integration of events initiated at several different DSB sites, and we identify a subset of gene conversion events that may involve break-induced replication (BIR) or repair of a double-stranded DNA gap.

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Selected References

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