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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2012 Nov;15(5):556-61. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2012.09.002. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

Control of meiotic recombination frequency in plant genomes.

Author information

  • Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 3EA, United Kingdom. irh25@cam.ac.uk


Sexual eukaryotes reproduce via the meiotic cell division, where ploidy is halved and homologous chromosomes undergo reciprocal genetic exchange, termed crossover (CO). CO frequency has a profound effect on patterns of genetic variation and species evolution. Relative CO rates vary extensively both within and between plant genomes. Plant genome size varies by over 1000-fold, largely due to differential expansion of repetitive sequences, and increased genome size is associated with reduced CO frequency. Gene versus repeat sequences associate with distinct chromatin modifications, and evidence from plant genomes indicates that this epigenetic information influences CO patterns. This is consistent with data from diverse eukaryotes that demonstrate the importance of chromatin structure for control of meiotic recombination. In this review I will discuss CO frequency patterns in plant genomes and recent advances in understanding recombination distributions.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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