Meiosis in male Drosophila

Spermatogenesis. 2012 Jul 1;2(3):167-184. doi: 10.4161/spmg.21800.


Meiosis entails sorting and separating both homologous and sister chromatids. The mechanisms for connecting sister chromatids and homologs during meiosis are highly conserved and include specialized forms of the cohesin complex and a tightly regulated homolog synapsis/recombination pathway designed to yield regular crossovers between homologous chromatids. Drosophila male meiosis is of special interest because it dispenses with large segments of the standard meiotic script, particularly recombination, synapsis and the associated structures. Instead, Drosophila relies on a unique protein complex composed of at least two novel proteins, SNM and MNM, to provide stable connections between homologs during meiosis I. Sister chromatid cohesion in Drosophila is mediated by cohesins, ring-shaped complexes that entrap sister chromatids. However, unlike other eukaryotes Drosophila does not rely on the highly conserved Rec8 cohesin in meiosis, but instead utilizes two novel cohesion proteins, ORD and SOLO, which interact with the SMC1/3 cohesin components in providing meiotic cohesion.