Double-strand breaks can initiate meiotic recombination in S. cerevisiae

Cell. 1986 Aug 29;46(5):733-40. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(86)90349-1.


We investigated the effects of double-strand breaks on meiotic recombination in yeast. A double-strand break was introduced at the MATa locus by sporulation of a MAT alpha inc/MATa diploid under inducing conditions for the HO-encoded endonuclease; 14% of the resulting tetrads had undergone 4 alpha:0a conversion. Conversion at MAT was associated with co-conversion of a closely linked marker and an increased recombination frequency for flanking markers. We also studied the sporulation products of a diploid heterozygous at the HIS4 locus for an insertion of a 100 bp fragment of MATa containing the HO endonuclease cut site. Under inducing conditions, a significant number of tetrads were formed that had undergone gene conversions in favor of the HIS4+ allele. Although double-strand breaks can initiate meiotic recombination in yeast, the data suggest that they do not normally do so.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics*
  • Gene Conversion*
  • Meiosis*
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*


  • DNA, Fungal
  • DNA