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Trends Genet. 2018 Jun;34(6):424-433. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2018.02.003. Epub 2018 Feb 27.

Genetic Villains: Killer Meiotic Drivers.

Author information

1
Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO, USA; These authors contributed equally to this work.
2
Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO, USA; Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA. Electronic address: sez@stowers.org.

Abstract

Unbiased allele transmission into progeny is a fundamental genetic concept canonized as Mendel's Law of Segregation. Not all alleles, however, abide by the law. Killer meiotic drivers are ultra-selfish DNA sequences that are transmitted into more than half (sometimes all) of the meiotic products generated by a heterozygote. As their name implies, these loci gain a transmission advantage in heterozygotes by destroying otherwise viable meiotic products that do not inherit the driver. We review and classify killer meiotic drive genes across a wide spectrum of eukaryotes. We discuss how analyses of these ultra-selfish genes can lead to greater insight into the mechanisms of gametogenesis and the causes of infertility.

KEYWORDS:

killer meiotic drivers; meiosis; meiotic drive; segregation distortion; selfish genes

PMID:
29499907
PMCID:
PMC5959745
[Available on 2019-06-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.tig.2018.02.003

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