Dynamics of homologous chromosome pairing during meiotic prophase in fission yeast

Dev Cell. 2004 Mar;6(3):329-41. doi: 10.1016/s1534-5807(04)00059-0.


Pairing of homologous chromosomes is important for homologous recombination and correct chromosome segregation during meiosis. It has been proposed that telomere clustering, nuclear oscillation, and recombination during meiotic prophase facilitate homologous chromosome pairing in fission yeast. Here we examined the contributions of these chromosomal events to homologous chromosome pairing, by directly observing the dynamics of chromosomal loci in living cells of fission yeast. Homologous loci exhibited a dynamic process of association and dissociation during the time course of meiotic prophase. Lack of nuclear oscillation reduced association frequency for both centromeric and arm regions of the chromosome. Lack of telomere clustering or recombination reduced association frequency at arm regions, but not significantly at centromeric regions. Our results indicate that homologous chromosomes are spatially aligned by oscillation of telomere-bundled chromosomes and physically linked by recombination at chromosome arm regions; this recombination is not required for association of homologous centromeres.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Chromosome Pairing / genetics
  • Chromosome Pairing / physiology*
  • Chromosomes, Fungal / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Histones / metabolism
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Karyometry / methods
  • Luminescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Meiosis / physiology*
  • Metaphase / physiology
  • Mutation
  • Prophase / genetics
  • Prophase / physiology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Schizosaccharomyces
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / metabolism
  • Telomere / physiology
  • Time Factors


  • Histones
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins