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Genetics. 1999 Nov;153(3):1271-83.

Crossing over during Caenorhabditis elegans meiosis requires a conserved MutS-based pathway that is partially dispensable in budding yeast.

Author information

1
Department of Developmental Biology and Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

Abstract

Formation of crossovers between homologous chromosomes during Caenorhabditis elegans meiosis requires the him-14 gene. Loss of him-14 function severely reduces crossing over, resulting in lack of chiasmata between homologs and consequent missegregation. Cytological analysis showing that homologs are paired and aligned in him-14 pachytene nuclei, together with temperature-shift experiments showing that him-14 functions during the pachytene stage, indicate that him-14 is not needed to establish pairing or synapsis and likely has a more direct role in crossover formation. him-14 encodes a germline-specific member of the MutS family of DNA mismatch repair (MMR) proteins. him-14 has no apparent role in MMR, but like its Saccharomyces cerevisiae ortholog MSH4, has a specialized role in promoting crossing over during meiosis. Despite this conservation, worms and yeast differ significantly in their reliance on this pathway: whereas worms use this pathway to generate most, if not all, crossovers, yeast still form 30-50% of their normal number of crossovers when this pathway is absent. This differential reliance may reflect differential stability of crossover-competent recombination intermediates, or alternatively, the presence of two different pathways for crossover formation in yeast, only one of which predominates during nematode meiosis. We discuss a model in which HIM-14 promotes crossing over by interfering with Holliday junction branch migration.

PMID:
10545458
PMCID:
PMC1460811
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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