Unmasking a Cheating Gene

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Science  12 Mar 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5408, pp. 1651-1652
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5408.1651

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There are a few genes that are clever enough to subvert meiosis to ensure their propagation to nearly all of the next generation, instead of half the progeny as decreed by Mendelian inheritance. In his Perspective, Crow discusses the identification of the protein product of one of these genes, Segregation distorter (Sd), reported by Merrill et al. in this issue. It turns out that Sd encodes a defective RanGAP protein, the normal version of which is involved in nuclear transport.