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Nat Commun. 2015 Mar 24;6:6648. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7648.

Dissecting meiotic recombination based on tetrad analysis by single-microspore sequencing in maize.

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National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China.
Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA.


Meiotic recombination drives eukaryotic sexual reproduction and the generation of genome diversity. Tetrad analysis, which examines the four chromatids resulting from a single meiosis, is an ideal method to study the mechanisms of homologous recombination. Here we develop a method to isolate the four microspores from a single tetrad in maize for the purpose of whole-genome sequencing. A high-resolution recombination map reveals that crossovers are unevenly distributed across the genome and are more likely to occur in the genic than intergenic regions, especially common in the 5'- and 3'-end regions of annotated genes. The direct detection of genomic exchanges suggests that conversions likely occur in most crossover tracts. Negative crossover interference and weak chromatid interference are observed at the population level. Overall, our findings further our understanding of meiotic recombination with implications for both basic and applied research.

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