How do meiotic chromosomes meet their homologous partners?: lessons from fission yeast

Bioessays. 2001 Jun;23(6):526-33. doi: 10.1002/bies.1072.


Homologous chromosome pairing is required for proper chromosome segregation and recombination during meiosis. The mechanism by which a pair of homologous chromosomes contact each other to establish pairing is not fully understood. When pairing occurs during meiotic prophase in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the nucleus oscillates between the cell poles and telomeres remain clustered at the leading edge of the moving nucleus. These meiosis-specific activities produce movements of telomere-bundled chromosomes. Several lines of evidence suggest that these movements facilitate homologous chromosome pairing by aligning homologous chromosomes and promoting contact between homologous regions. Since telomere clustering and nuclear or chromosome movements in meiotic prophase have been observed in a wide range of eukaryotic organisms, it is suggested that telomere-mediated chromosome movements are general activities that facilitate homologous chromosome pairing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / physiology
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • Chromosomes, Fungal / physiology*
  • Chromosomes, Fungal / ultrastructure
  • Meiosis
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / cytology
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics*