The road to crossovers: plants have their say

Trends Genet. 2007 Feb;23(2):91-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2006.12.007. Epub 2007 Jan 8.


Crossovers involve the reciprocal exchange of large fragments of genetic material between homologous chromosomes during meiosis. In this way, crossovers are the basis of genetics. Remarkably, the number and distribution of crossovers on chromosomes are closely controlled. Data from various model organisms (notably Saccharomyces cerevisiae) show that the distribution of crossovers results from a series of tightly regulated events involving the formation and repair of double-strand breaks and interference. Recent advances in genetic and cytological tools, particularly for studying Arabidopsis thaliana, have enabled crossover control in plants to be studied in more detail. In this article, we discuss the contribution of plant studies to meiosis research, particularly to our understanding of crossover control and interference, and we evaluate models of interference.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Plant*
  • Crossing Over, Genetic / physiology*
  • Models, Genetic
  • Yeasts / genetics