Quantification and Sequencing of Crossover Recombinant Molecules from Arabidopsis Pollen DNA

Methods Mol Biol. 2017:1551:23-57. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-6750-6_2.


During meiosis, homologous chromosomes undergo recombination, which can result in formation of reciprocal crossover molecules. Crossover frequency is highly variable across the genome, typically occurring in narrow hotspots, which has a significant effect on patterns of genetic diversity. Here we describe methods to measure crossover frequency in plants at the hotspot scale (bp-kb), using allele-specific PCR amplification from genomic DNA extracted from the pollen of F1 heterozygous plants. We describe (1) titration methods that allow amplification, quantification and sequencing of single crossover molecules, (2) quantitative PCR methods to more rapidly measure crossover frequency, and (3) application of high-throughput sequencing for study of crossover distributions within hotspots. We provide detailed descriptions of key steps including pollen DNA extraction, prior identification of hotspot locations, allele-specific oligonucleotide design, and sequence analysis approaches. Together, these methods allow the rate and recombination topology of plant hotspots to be robustly measured and compared between varied genetic backgrounds and environmental conditions.

Keywords: Allele-specific PCR; Crossover; Meiosis; Pollen DNA; Recombination; Titration.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Crossing Over, Genetic / genetics
  • DNA, Plant / genetics*
  • Meiosis / genetics
  • Pollen / genetics*
  • Recombination, Genetic / genetics


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA, Plant