Homologue recognition during meiosis is associated with a change in chromatin conformation

Nat Cell Biol. 2004 Sep;6(9):906-8. doi: 10.1038/ncb1168. Epub 2004 Sep 1.


During meiosis, homologous chromosomes are sorted into pairs and are then intimately aligned, or synapsed, along their lengths while a proteinaceous structure, the synaptonemal complex, is assembled between them. However, little is known about how chromosomes first recognise each other. Here we show, by comparing the behaviour of wild-type wheat and wheat mutant for Ph1 (a suppressor of homeologous chromosome pairing), that when chromosomes recognise a partner to pair with, a conformational change to the chromatin is triggered in both partners that is followed by their intimate alignment [corrected]. Thus, a conformational change in the chromosomes at the onset of meiosis can be correlated directly with recognition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatin / chemistry
  • Chromosomes / physiology*
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Meiosis*
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Protein Conformation
  • Triticum / cytology
  • Triticum / genetics


  • Chromatin