Imposition of crossover interference through the nonrandom distribution of synapsis initiation complexes

Cell. 2004 Mar 19;116(6):795-802. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(04)00249-1.


Meiotic crossovers (COs) are nonrandomly distributed along chromosomes such that two COs seldom occur close together, a phenomenon known as CO interference. We have used genetic and cytological methods to investigate interference mechanisms in budding yeast. Assembly of the synaptonemal complex (SC) initiates at a few sites along each chromosome, triggered by a complex of proteins (including Zip2 and Zip3) called the synapsis initiation complex (SIC). We found that SICs, like COs, display interference, supporting the hypothesis that COs occur at synapsis initiation sites. Unexpectedly, we found that SICs show interference in mutants in which CO interference is abolished; one explanation is that these same mutations eliminate the subset of COs that normally occur at SICs. Since SICs are assembled in advance of SC and they are properly positioned even in the absence of SC formation, these data clearly demonstrate an aspect of interference that is independent of synapsis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromosome Pairing / genetics*
  • Chromosomes / genetics*
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Meiosis / genetics*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Synaptonemal Complex / genetics


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Macromolecular Substances