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Nature. 1992 Sep 10;359(6391):154-5.

A meiotic gene conversion gradient opposite to the direction of transcription.

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Department of Biology, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242.


Genetic recombination involves classical crossing-over and gene conversion (aberrant segregation). In fungi that produce an ascus containing four spores, a gene conversion event is manifested as 3:1 or 1:3 (or more rarely 4:0 or 0:4) segregations, in contrast to the normal mendelian 2:2 segregation. Polarity is one of the properties of gene conversion; in almost all cases the frequency of conversion exhibits a gradient across the gene monitored. The frequency of conversion is usually independent of the specific allele used as a marker, but dependent on its location. An interpretation of conversion polarity is that it is caused by the existence of specific initiation sites for meiotic recombination, located at the high end of the polarity gradient. Here we show that the polarity gradient for the HIS2 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is high at the 3' end of the gene, implying that the promoter of HIS2 is not the initiation site.

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