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Cell. 1994 Jan 14;76(1):51-63.

Identification of joint molecules that form frequently between homologs but rarely between sister chromatids during yeast meiosis.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138.


We have investigated DNA interactions between homologs and between sister chromatids during meiosis in S. cerevisiae. We have detected a DNA species containing information from both parental chromosomes at a specific hotspot for meiotic recombination and double strand breaks (DSBs). These joint molecules are a prominent feature of meiotic prophase. They appear to be a major intermediate stage in DSB-promoted recombination, because they occur with appropriate timing and require known recombination functions. Other possibilities cannot be completely dismissed, however. Most or all joint molecules contain two full-length nonrecombinant strands from each parental duplex and thus do not consist of single Holliday junctions. Joint molecules form between sister chromatids at approximately 10% the interhomolog level. Also, joint molecule formation is aberrant in a mutant defective in the HOP1 gene, which encodes a meiotic chromosome structure component. General models for discrimination between homologs and sisters during meiosis are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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