The template choice decision in meiosis: is the sister important?

Chromosoma. 2011 Oct;120(5):447-54. doi: 10.1007/s00412-011-0336-7. Epub 2011 Aug 9.


Recombination between homologous chromosomes is crucial to ensure their proper segregation during meiosis. This is achieved by regulating the choice of recombination template. In mitotic cells, double-strand break repair with the sister chromatid appears to be preferred, whereas interhomolog recombination is favoured during meiosis. However, in the last year, several studies in yeast have shown the importance of the meiotic recombination between sister chromatids. Although this thinking seems to be new, evidences for sister chromatid exchange during meiosis were obtained more than 50 years ago in non-model organisms. In this mini-review, we comment briefly on the most recent advances in this hot topic and also describe observations which suggest the existence of inter-sister repair during meiotic recombination. For instance, the behaviour of mammalian XY bivalents and that of trivalents in heterozygotes for chromosomal rearrangements are cited as examples. The "rediscovering" of the requirement for the sister template, although it seems to occur at a low frequency, will probably prompt further investigations in organisms other than yeast to understand the complexity of the partner choice during meiosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosomes / genetics
  • Chromosomes / metabolism
  • Eukaryota / genetics*
  • Eukaryota / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Meiosis*
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Sister Chromatid Exchange*