Chromosome movement in meiosis I prophase of Caenorhabditis elegans

Chromosoma. 2014 Mar;123(1-2):15-24. doi: 10.1007/s00412-013-0436-7. Epub 2013 Sep 15.


Rapid chromosome movement during prophase of the first meiotic division has been observed in many organisms. It is generally concomitant with formation of the "meiotic chromosome bouquet," a special chromosome configuration in which one or both chromosome ends attach to the nuclear envelope and become concentrated within a limited area. The precise function of the chromosomal bouquet is still not fully understood. Chromosome mobility is implicated in homologous chromosome pairing, synaptonemal complex formation, recombination, and resolution of chromosome entanglements. The basic mechanistic module through which forces are exerted on chromosomes is widely conserved; however, phenotypic differences have been reported among various model organisms once movement is abrogated. Movements are transmitted to the chromosome ends by the nuclear membrane-bridging SUN/KASH complex and are dependent on cytoskeletal filaments and motor proteins located in the cytoplasm. Here we review the recent findings on chromosome mobility during meiosis in an animal model system: the Caenorhabditis elegans nematode.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / cytology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism
  • Chromosome Pairing
  • Chromosomes / metabolism*
  • Meiotic Prophase I*
  • Movement
  • Pachytene Stage