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Plant J. 2009 Jul;59(2):303-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2009.03870.x. Epub 2009 Apr 14.

Mutation of the rice gene PAIR3 results in lack of bivalent formation in meiosis.

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National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement and National Center of Plant Gene Research (Wuhan), Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China.


Meiosis is essential for eukaryotic sexual reproduction and important for genetic diversity among individuals. Although a number of genes regulating homologous chromosome pairing and synapsis have been identified in the plant kingdom, their molecular basis remains poorly understood. In this study, we identified a novel gene, PAIR3 (HOMOLOGOUS PAIRING ABERRATION IN RICE MEIOSIS 3), required for homologous chromosome pairing and synapsis in rice. Two independent alleles, designated pair3-1 and pair3-2, were identified in our T-DNA insertional mutant library which could not form bivalents due to failure of homologous chromosome pairing and synapsis at diakinesis, resulting in sterility in both male and female gametes. Suppression of PAIR3 by RNAi produced similar results to the T-DNA insertion lines. PAIR3 encodes a protein that contains putative coiled-coil motifs, but does not have any close homologs in other organisms. PAIR3 is preferentially expressed in reproductive organs, especially in pollen mother cells and the ovule tissues during meiosis. Our results suggest that PAIR3 plays a crucial role in homologous chromosome pairing and synapsis in meiosis.

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