Developmental DNA elimination in Paramecium tetraurelia occurs through a trans-nuclear comparison of the genomes of two distinct types of nuclei: the germline micronucleus (MIC) and the somatic macronucleus (MAC). During sexual reproduction, which starts with meiosis of the germline nuclei, MIC-limited sequences including Internal Eliminated Sequences (IESs) and transposons are eliminated from the developing MAC in a process guided by noncoding RNAs (scnRNAs and iesRNAs). However, our current understanding of this mechanism is still very limited. Therefore, studying both genetic and epigenetic aspects of these processes is a crucial step to understand this phenomenon in more detail. Here, we describe the involvement of homologs of classical meiotic proteins, Spo11, Msh4-1, and Msh5 in this phenomenon. Based on our analyses, we propose that proper functioning of Spo11, Msh4-1, and Msh5 during Paramecium sexual reproduction are necessary for genome reorganization and viable progeny. Also, we show that double-strand breaks (DSBs) in DNA induced during meiosis by Spo11 are crucial for proper IESs excision. In summary, our investigations show that early sexual reproduction processes may significantly influence later somatic genome integrity.
Keywords: Genome rearrangement; Meiosis; Msh4; Msh5; Paramecium; Spo11.
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