Unexpected behavior of an inverted rye chromosome arm in wheat

Chromosoma. 2008 Dec;117(6):569-78. doi: 10.1007/s00412-008-0174-4. Epub 2008 Aug 5.


Distal location of chiasmata in chromosome arms is thought to be a consequence of the distal initiation of synapsis. Observations of meiotic behavior of a rye chromosome with an inverted arm show that patterns of chiasma distribution and frequency are also inverted; therefore, the patterns of synapsis and chiasma distribution are independent, and recombination frequency along a chromosome is position-independent and segment-specific. Since cases of random distribution of chiasmata and recombination are known in rye, a genetic mechanism must be present that licenses specific chromosome regions for recombination. Large differences in the metaphase I pairing of the inversion in various combinations of two armed and telocentric chromosomes confirm the major role of the telomere bouquet in early homologue recognition. However, occasional synapsis and chiasmate pairing of the distal regions of normal arms with the proximal regions of the inversion suggest that an alternative mechanism for juxtaposing of homologues must also be present. Synapsis in inversion heterozygotes was mostly complete but in the antiparallel orientation, hence defying homology, but non-homologues never synapsed. Instances of synapsis strictly limited to the chiasma-capable segments of the arm suggest that, in rye, both recombination-dependent and recombination-independent mechanisms for homologue recognition must be present.

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Inversion*
  • Chromosome Pairing / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Plant / genetics*
  • Metaphase / physiology
  • Recombination, Genetic / genetics*
  • Secale / genetics*
  • Triticum / genetics*