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PLoS One. 2011 Apr 29;6(4):e19255. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019255.

Synapsis and meiotic recombination in male Chinese muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi).

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Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale, School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China.


The muntjacs (Muntiacus, Cervidae) have been extensively studied in terms of chromosomal and karyotypic evolution. However, little is known about their meiotic chromosomes particularly the recombination patterns of homologous chromosomes. We used immunostained surface spreads to visualise synaptonemal complexes (SCs), recombination foci and kinetochores with antibodies against marker proteins. As in other mammals pachytene was the longest stage of meiotic prophase. 39.4% of XY bivalents lacked MLH1 foci compared to less than 0.5% of autosomes. The average number of MLH1 foci per pachytene cell in M. reevesi was 29.8. The distribution of MLH1 foci differed from other mammals. On SCs with one focus, the distribution was more even in M. reevesi than in other mammals; for SCs that have two or more MLH1 foci, usually there was a larger peak in the sub-centromere region than other regions on SC in M. reevesi. Additionally, there was a lower level of interference between foci in M. reevesi than in mouse or human. These observations may suggest that the regulation of homologous recombination in M. reevesi is slightly different from other mammals and will improve our understanding of the regulation of meiotic recombination, with respect to recombination frequency and position.

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