To determine whether recombination and/or sister-chromatid cohesion affect the timing of meiotic prophase events, the horsetail stage and S phase were analyzed in Schizosaccharomyces pombe strains carrying mutations in the cohesin genes rec8 or rec11, the linear element gene rec10, the pairing gene meu13, the double-strand-break formation genes rec6, rec7, rec12, rec14, rec15, and mde2, and the recombination gene dmc1. The double-mutant strains rec8 rec11 and rec8 rec12 were also assayed. Most of the single and both double mutants showed advancement of bulk DNA synthesis, start of nuclear movement (horsetail stage), and meiotic divisions by up to 2 hr. Only mde2 and dmc1 deletion strains showed wild-type timing. Contrasting behavior was observed for rec8 deletions (delayed by 1 hr) compared to a rec8 point mutation (advanced by 1 hr). An hypothesis for the role of cohesin and recombination proteins in the control of the G 1-to-S transition is proposed. Finally, differences between azygotic meiosis and two other types of fission yeast meiosis (zygotic and pat1-114 meiosis) are discussed with respect to possible control steps in meiotic G 1.
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