The role of chromosome ends during meiosis in Caenorhabditis elegans

Bioessays. 1996 Jun;18(6):447-52. doi: 10.1002/bies.950180606.


Chromosome ends have been implicated in the meiotic processes of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Cytological observations have shown that chromosome ends attach to the nuclear membrane and adopt kinetochore functions. In this organism, centromeric activity is highly regulated, switching from multiple spindle attachments all along the chromosome during mitotic division to a single attachment during meiosis. C. elegans chromosomes are functionally monocentric during meiosis. Earlier genetic studies demonstrated that the terminal regions of the chromosomes are not equivalent in their meiotic potentials. There are asymmetries in the abilities of the ends to recombine when duplicated or deleted. In addition, mutations in single genes have been identified that mimic the meiotic effects of a terminal truncation of the X chromosome. The recent cloning and characterization of the C. elegans telomeres has provided a starting point for the study of chromosomal elements mediating the meiotic process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / ultrastructure
  • Centromere / genetics
  • Chromosomes / genetics
  • Chromosomes / ultrastructure
  • Crossing Over, Genetic
  • Meiosis / genetics*
  • Models, Genetic
  • Mutation
  • Nuclear Envelope / ultrastructure
  • Telomere / genetics