In S. pombe strains mutant for rec15 aberrant ascus morphology, reduced spore viability and severe reduction of meiotic recombination was detected. Genetic and cytological analysis identified frequent interruption of meiosis after the first division, and nondisjunction I, as the main segregation errors in the mutant. Chromosome segregation at meiosis I was not random in rec15, suggesting the presence of a backup system for correct segregation of achiasmate chromosomes. The analysis of meiotic progression in time-course experiments revealed that the major meiotic events, such as the onset of premeiotic DNA synthesis, of horse-tail nuclear movement, and of the first meiotic division occurred earlier in rec15 than in wild-type. The early onset of meiotic events is a novel observation for an early recombination mutant and implies a function of rec15 protein already at or before DNA synthesis.
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