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Chromosoma. 2006 Jun;115(3):260-71. Epub 2006 Mar 11.

S. pombe linear elements: the modest cousins of synaptonemal complexes.

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Department of Chromosome Biology, University of Vienna, Rennweg 14, 1030, Vienna, Austria.


Synaptonemal complexes (SCs) are not formed during meiotic prophase in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Instead, so-called linear elements (LinEs) are formed at the corresponding stages. LinEs are remarkable in that their number does not correspond to the number of chromosomes or bivalents and that the changes in their organisation during prophase do not evidently reflect the pairing of chromosomes. Yet, LinEs are necessary for full meiotic pairing levels and for meiotic recombination. In this review, the composition of LinEs, their evolutionary relationship to SCs and their possible functions are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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