Control of meiotic recombination in Schizosaccharomyces pombe

Prog Nucleic Acid Res Mol Biol. 1998;61:345-78. doi: 10.1016/s0079-6603(08)60831-4.


Homologous recombination occurs at high frequency during meiosis and is essential for the proper segregation of chromosomes and the generation of genetic diversity. Meiotic recombination is controlled in numerous ways. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe nutritional starvation induces meiosis and high-level expression of many genes, including numerous recombination (rec) genes, whose products are required for recombination. Accompanying the two meiotic divisions are profound changes in nuclear and chromosomal structure and movement, which may play an important role in meiotic recombination. Although recombination occurs throughout the genome, it occurs at high frequency in some intervals (hotspots) and at low frequency in others (coldspots). The well-characterized hotspot M26 is activated by the Mts1/Mts2 protein; this site and its binding proteins interact with the local chromosomal structure to enhance recombination. A coldspot between the silent mating-type loci is repressed by identified proteins, which may also alter local chromatin. We discuss in detail the rec genes and the possible functions of their products, some but not all of which share homology with other identified proteins. Although some of the rec gene products are required for recombination throughout the genome, others demonstrate regional specificity and are required in certain genomic regions but not in others. Throughout the review contrasts are made with meiotic recombination in the more thoroughly studied budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • Chromosomes, Fungal / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Fungal / ultrastructure
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Genes, Mating Type, Fungal
  • Meiosis
  • Mutagenesis
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / cytology*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics*
  • Synaptonemal Complex / genetics