The effects of translocations on recombination frequency in Caenorhabditis elegans.

K. S. McKim, A. M. Howell, A. M. Rose

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In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, recombination suppression in translocation heterozygotes is severe and extensive. We have examined the meiotic properties of two translocations involving chromosome I, szT1(I;X) and hT1(I;V). No recombination was observed in either of these translocation heterozygotes along the left (let-362-unc-13) 17 map units of chromosome I. Using half-translocations as free duplications, we mapped the breakpoints of szT1 and hT1. The boundaries of crossover suppression coincided with the physical breakpoints. We propose that DNA sequences at the right end of chromosome I facilitate pairing and recombination. We use the data from translocations of other chromosomes to map the location of pairing sites on four other chromosomes. hT1 and szT1 differed markedly in their effect on recombination adjacent to the crossover suppressed region. hT1 had no effect on recombination in the adjacent interval. In contrast, the 0.8 map unit interval immediately adjacent to the szT1(I;X) breakpoint on chromosome I increased to 2.5 map units in translocation heterozygotes. This increase occurs in a chromosomal interval which can be expanded by treatment with radiation. These results are consistent with the suggestion that the szT1(I) breakpoint is in a region of DNA in which meiotic recombination is suppressed relative to the genomic average. We propose that DNA sequences disrupted by the szT1 translocation are responsible for determining the frequency of meiotic recombination in the vicinity of the breakpoint.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)987-1001
Number of pages15
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1988
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics

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