Mismatch repair impedes meiotic crossover interference

Tim J. Cooper, Margaret R. Crawford, Laura J. Hunt, Marie-Claude Marsolier-Kergoat, Bertrand Llorente, and Matthew J. Neale

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Jan 14, 2019
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Received Date: 21st December 18

Sequence divergence, mediated by the anti-recombinogenic activity of mismatch repair (MMR), forms a potent barrier to meiotic recombination and in turn the formation of viable gametes. However, rather than MMR acting as a uniform and non-specific impediment to meiotic recombination, we demonstrate here that MMR unexpectedly influences the global distribution of recombination through preferential suppression of interfering crossovers (COs) at regions of greater sequence divergence. As a result, inactivation of MMR increases not only the rate of recombination but also, paradoxically, the strength of CO interference. Distributing COs evenly across the genome - as mediated by interference - is important for the faithful segregation of chromosomes. Our observations therefore highlight how the complexities of CO control, which ensure meiotic success and fertility, are also instrumental in impeding recombination between divergent individuals, thereby contributing to reproductive isolation and eventual speciation.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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