Reference: Rattray A, et al. (2015) Elevated mutation rate during meiosis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. PLoS Genet 11(1):e1004910

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Abstract


Mutations accumulate during all stages of growth, but only germ line mutations contribute to evolution. While meiosis contributes to evolution by reassortment of parental alleles, we show here that the process itself is inherently mutagenic. We have previously shown that the DNA synthesis associated with repair of a double-strand break is about 1000-fold less accurate than S-phase synthesis. Since the process of meiosis involves many programmed DSBs, we reasoned that this repair might also be mutagenic. Indeed, in the early 1960's Magni and Von Borstel observed elevated reversion of recessive alleles during meiosis, and found that the revertants were more likely to be associated with a crossover than non-revertants, a process that they called "the meiotic effect." Here we use a forward mutation reporter (CAN1 HIS3) placed at either a meiotic recombination coldspot or hotspot near the MAT locus on Chromosome III. We find that the increased mutation rate at CAN1 (6 to 21 -fold) correlates with the underlying recombination rate at the locus. Importantly, we show that the elevated mutation rate is fully dependent upon Spo11, the protein that introduces the meiosis specific DSBs. To examine associated recombination we selected for random spores with or without a mutation in CAN1. We find that the mutations isolated this way show an increased association with recombination (crossovers, loss of crossover interference and/or increased gene conversion tracts). Polζ appears to contribute about half of the mutations induced during meiosis, but is not the only source of mutations for the meiotic effect. We see no difference in either the spectrum or distribution of mutations between mitosis and meiosis. The correlation of hotspots with elevated mutagenesis provides a mechanism for organisms to control evolution rates in a gene specific manner.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
Authors
Rattray A, Santoyo G, Shafer B, Strathern JN
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