Meiosis is essential for sexual reproduction and recombination is a critical step required for normal meiosis. Understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms that regulate recombination is important for medical, agricultural and ecological reasons. Readily available molecular and cytological tools make Arabidopsis an excellent system to study meiosis. Here we review recent developments in molecular genetic analyses on meiotic recombination. These include studies on plant homologs of yeast and animal genes, as well as novel genes that were first identified in plants. The characterizations of these genes have demonstrated essential functions from the initiation of recombination by double-strand breaks to repair of such breaks, from the formation of double-Holliday junctions to possible resolution of these junctions, both of which are critical for crossover formation. The recent advances have ushered a new era in plant meiosis, in which the combination of genetics, genomics, and molecular cytology can uncover important gene functions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- Plant Science