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PLoS One. 2013 Dec 2;8(12):e82758. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082758. eCollection 2013.

A quality control mechanism linking meiotic success to release of ascospores.

Author information

1
Department of Cell Biology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America.

Abstract

Eukaryotic organisms employ a variety of mechanisms during meiosis to assess and ensure the quality of their gametes. Defects or delays in successful meiotic recombination activate conserved mechanisms to delay the meiotic divisions, but many multicellular eukaryotes also induce cell death programs to eliminate gametes deemed to have failed during meiosis. It is generally thought that yeasts lack such mechanisms. Here, we show that in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, defects in meiotic recombination lead to the activation of a checkpoint that is linked to ascus wall endolysis--the process by which spores are released in response to nutritional cues for subsequent germination. Defects in meiotic recombination are sensed as unrepaired DNA damage through the canonical ATM and ATR DNA damage response kinases, and this information is communicated to the machinery that stimulates ascus wall breakdown. Viability of spores that undergo endolysis spontaneously is significantly higher than that seen upon chemical endolysis, demonstrating that this checkpoint contributes to a selective mechanism for the germination of high quality progeny. These results provide the first evidence for the existence of a checkpoint linking germination to meiosis and suggest that analysis solely based on artificial, enzymatic endolysis bypasses an important quality control mechanism in this organism and potentially other ascomycota, which are models widely used to study meiosis.

PMID:
24312672
PMCID:
PMC3846778
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0082758
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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