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Genetics. 1999 Oct;153(2):621-41.

Genetic control of recombination partner preference in yeast meiosis. Isolation and characterization of mutants elevated for meiotic unequal sister-chromatid recombination.

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Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403-1229, USA.

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  • Genetics. 2003 Jul;164(3):1241.


Meiotic exchange occurs preferentially between homologous chromatids, in contrast to mitotic recombination, which occurs primarily between sister chromatids. To identify functions that direct meiotic recombination events to homologues, we screened for mutants exhibiting an increase in meiotic unequal sister-chromatid recombination (SCR). The msc (meiotic sister-chromatid recombination) mutants were quantified in spo13 meiosis with respect to meiotic unequal SCR frequency, disome segregation pattern, sporulation frequency, and spore viability. Analysis of the msc mutants according to these criteria defines three classes. Mutants with a class I phenotype identified new alleles of the meiosis-specific genes RED1 and MEK1, the DNA damage checkpoint genes RAD24 and MEC3, and a previously unknown gene, MSC6. The genes RED1, MEK1, RAD24, RAD17, and MEC1 are required for meiotic prophase arrest induced by a dmc1 mutation, which defines a meiotic recombination checkpoint. Meiotic unequal SCR was also elevated in a rad17 mutant. Our observation that meiotic unequal SCR is elevated in meiotic recombination checkpoint mutants suggests that, in addition to their proposed monitoring function, these checkpoint genes function to direct meiotic recombination events to homologues. The mutants in class II, including a dmc1 mutant, confer a dominant meiotic lethal phenotype in diploid SPO13 meiosis in our strain background, and they identify alleles of UBR1, INP52, BUD3, PET122, ELA1, and MSC1-MSC3. These results suggest that DMC1 functions to bias the repair of meiosis-specific double-strand breaks to homologues. We hypothesize that the genes identified by the class II mutants function in or are regulators of the DMC1-promoted interhomologue recombination pathway. Class III mutants may be elevated for rates of both SCR and homologue exchange.

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