Single gametophyte sequencing reveals that crossover events differ between sexes in maize

Nat Commun. 2019 Feb 15;10(1):785. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-08786-x.


Meiotic crossover (CO) plays a key role in producing gametophytes and generating genetic variation. The patterns of CO production differ inter- and intra-species, as well as between sexes. However, sex-specific patterns of CO production have not been accurately profiled independently of genetic backgrounds in maize. Here, we develop a method to isolate single female gametophyte for genomes sequencing in maize. We show that more COs are observed in male (19.3 per microspore) than in female (12.4 per embryo sac). Based on Beam-Film model, the more designated class I and II COs are identified in male than in female. In addition, CO maturation inefficiency (CMI) is detected in some genetic backgrounds, suggesting that maize may be an ideal model for dissecting CMI. This research provides insights toward understanding the molecular mechanism of CO production between sexes and may help to improve maize breeding efficiency through paternal selection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Crossing Over, Genetic / genetics
  • Crossing Over, Genetic / physiology
  • Germ Cells, Plant / metabolism*
  • Germ Cells, Plant / physiology
  • Meiosis / genetics
  • Meiosis / physiology
  • Ovule / genetics
  • Ovule / metabolism
  • Zea mays / genetics*
  • Zea mays / physiology*