Contrasted patterns of crossover and non-crossover at Arabidopsis thaliana meiotic recombination hotspots

PLoS Genet. 2013 Nov;9(11):e1003922. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003922. Epub 2013 Nov 14.

Abstract

The vast majority of meiotic recombination events (crossovers (COs) and non-crossovers (NCOs)) cluster in narrow hotspots surrounded by large regions devoid of recombinational activity. Here, using a new molecular approach in plants, called "pollen-typing", we detected and characterized hundreds of CO and NCO molecules in two different hotspot regions in Arabidopsis thaliana. This analysis revealed that COs are concentrated in regions of a few kilobases where their rates reach up to 50 times the genome average. The hotspots themselves tend to cluster in regions less than 8 kilobases in size with overlapping CO distribution. Non-crossover (NCO) events also occurred in the two hotspots but at very different levels (local CO/NCO ratios of 1/1 and 30/1) and their track lengths were quite small (a few hundred base pairs). We also showed that the ZMM protein MSH4 plays a role in CO formation and somewhat unexpectedly we also found that it is involved in the generation of NCOs but with a different level of effect. Finally, factors acting in cis and in trans appear to shape the rate and distribution of COs at meiotic recombination hotspots.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Crossing Over, Genetic*
  • Gene Conversion
  • Genome, Plant
  • Meiosis / genetics*
  • Pollen / genetics*
  • Recombination, Genetic*

Substances

  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • MSH4 protein, Arabidopsis