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RTEL-1 Enforces Meiotic Crossover Interference and Homeostasis

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Science  05 Mar 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5970, pp. 1254-1258
DOI: 10.1126/science.1183112

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Abstract

Meiotic crossovers (COs) are tightly regulated to ensure that COs on the same chromosome are distributed far apart (crossover interference, COI) and that at least one CO is formed per homolog pair (CO homeostasis). CO formation is controlled in part during meiotic double-strand break (DSB) creation in Caenorhabditis elegans, but a second level of control must also exist because meiotic DSBs outnumber COs. We show that the antirecombinase RTEL-1 is required to prevent excess meiotic COs, probably by promoting meiotic synthesis-dependent strand annealing. Two distinct classes of meiotic COs are increased in rtel-1 mutants, and COI and homeostasis are compromised. We propose that RTEL-1 implements the second level of CO control by promoting noncrossovers.

  • * Present address: Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 94518–2517, USA.

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