Nuclear dispositions of subtelomeric and pericentromeric chromosomal domains during meiosis in asynaptic mutants of rye (Secale cereale L.)

Elena. I. Mikhailova, Svetiana P. Sosnikhina, Galina A. Kirillova, Oxana A. Tikholiz, Victor G. Smirnov, R. Neil Jones, Glyn M. Jenkins

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50 Citations (SciVal)


The nuclear dispositions of subtelomeric and pericentromeric domains in pollen mother cells (PMCs) were tracked during meiosis in wildtype and two asynaptic mutants of rye (Secale cereale L.) by means of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Homozygotes for sy1 and sy9 non-allelic mutations form axial elements during leptotene of male meiosis, but fail to form synaptonemal complexes. Consequently, recombination is severely impaired, and high univalency is observed at metaphase I. Simultaneous FISH with pSc200 subtelomeric tandem repeat and CCS1 centromeric sequence revealed that at pre-meiotic interphase the two domains are in a bipolar Rabl orientation in both the PMCs and tapetal cells. At the onset of meiotic prophase, the subtelomeric regions in PMCs of wildtype and sy9 cluster into a typical bouquet conformation. The timing of this event in rye is comparable with that in wheat, and is earlier than that observed in other organisms, such as maize, yeast and mammals. This arrangement is retained until later in leptotene and zygotene when the pericentromeric domains disperse and the subtelomeric clusters fragment. The mutant phenotype of sy9 manifests itself during leptotene to zygotene, when the pericentromeric regions become distinctly more distended than in wildtype, and largely fail to pair during zygotene. This indicates that difference in the nature or timing of chromosome condensation in this region is the cause or consequence of asynapsis. By contrast, sy1 fails to form comparable aggregates of subtelomeric regions at leptotene in only half of the nuclei studied. Instead, two to five aggregates are formed that fail to disperse at later stages of meiotic prophase. In addition, the pericentromeric regions disperse prematurely at leptotene and do not associate in pairs at any subsequent stage. It is supposed that the sy1 mutation could disrupt the nuclear disposition of centromeres and telomeres at the end of pre-meiotic interphase, which could cause, or contribute to, its asynaptic phenotype.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1875-1882
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2001


  • meiosis
  • rye
  • asynapsis
  • FISH
  • pericentromeric regions
  • subtelomeric regions


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