Production of healthy gametes requires a reductional meiosis I division in which replicated sister chromatids comigrate, rather than separate as in mitosis or meiosis II. Fusion of sister kinetochores during meiosis I may underlie sister chromatid comigration in diverse organisms, but direct evidence for such fusion has been lacking. We used laser trapping and quantitative fluorescence microscopy to study native kinetochore particles isolated from yeast. Meiosis I kinetochores formed stronger attachments and carried more microtubule-binding elements than kinetochores isolated from cells in mitosis or meiosis II. The meiosis I-specific monopolin complex was both necessary and sufficient to drive these modifications. Thus, kinetochore fusion directs sister chromatid comigration, a conserved feature of meiosis that is fundamental to Mendelian inheritance.
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