Recombination nodules and synaptonemal complex in recombination-defective females of Drosophila melanogaster

Chromosoma. 1979;75(3):259-92. doi: 10.1007/BF00293472.


The cytological effects of mutant alleles of the mei-9, mei-218, and mei-41 loci during prophase I have been examined by electron microscopy. None of these mutants affect synaptonemal complex structure, continuity, or temporal behavior. Both the precondition-defective mutants mei-218 and mei-41 affect both number and morphology of spherical recombination nodules and apparently affect at least the numbers of ellipsoidal recombination nodules, whereas in the exchange-defective mutant mei-9 the numbers and morphologies of both ellipsoidal and spherical recombination nodules are normal. The parallel effects of mei-218 and mei-41 on meiotic recombination and on recombination nodules indicate that spherical recombination nodules at least mark the site of exchange events; the effects of these mutants on nodule morphology suggest that the nodule performs an active role in the recombination process. The nodule phenotype of mei-9 indicates that spherical nodules are present, and presumably functioning, well before the concluding stages of the recombination event. The parallel effects of all 3 mutants on ellipsoidal and spherical nodules indicate that these are indeed related structures but does not ellucidate the nature of the relationship. It is suggested that all aspects of meiotic recombination are under the aegis of recombination nodules.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosomes / ultrastructure*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Female
  • Meiosis*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Mutation
  • Ovum / ultrastructure
  • Recombination, Genetic*