Table_4_The Role of Chromatid Interference in Determining Meiotic Crossover Patterns.DOCX
Plants, like all sexually reproducing organisms, create genetic variability by reshuffling parental alleles during meiosis. Patterns of genetic variation in the resulting gametes are determined by the independent assortment of chromosomes in meiosis I and by the number and positioning of crossover (CO) events during meiotic recombination. On the chromosome level, spatial distribution of CO events is biased by multiple regulatory mechanisms, such as CO assurance, interference and homeostasis. However, little is known about how multiple COs are distributed among the four chromatids of a bivalent. Chromatid interference (CI) has been proposed as a regulatory mechanism that biases distribution of multiple COs toward specific chromatid partners, however, its existence has not been well-studied and its putative mechanistic basis remains undescribed. Here, we introduce a novel method to quantitatively express CI, and take advantage of available tetrad-based genotyping data from Arabidopsis and maize male meiosis to quantify CI effects on a genome-wide and chromosomal scale. Overall, our analyses reveal random involvement of sister chromatids in double CO events across paired chromosomes, indicating an absence of CI. However, on a genome-wide level, CI was found to vary with physical distance between COs, albeit with different effects in Arabidopsis and maize. While effects of CI are minor in Arabidopsis and maize, the novel methodology introduced here enables quantitative interpretation of CI both on a local and genome-wide scale, and thus provides a key tool to study CI with relevance for both plant genetics and crop breeding.