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What limits meiotic crossovers?

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11 June 2013, 11am: Free
at the James Hutton Institute, Dundee DD2 5DA
for scientists, researchers and other interested parties

Dr Wayne Crismani French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) will deliver a seminar "What limits meiotic crossovers?" at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee on 11 June 2013. It will be broadcast live to the Aberdeen site.


The number of meiotic crossovers (COs) is tightly regulated within a narrow range, despite a large excess of molecular precursors. The factors that limit COs remain largely unknown. Using a genetic screen in Arabidopsis thaliana, we identified the highly conserved FANCM helicase, which is required for genome stability in humans and yeasts, as a major factor limiting meiotic CO formation. The fancm mutant has a threefold-increased CO frequency as compared to the wild type. These extra COs arise not from the pathway that accounts for most of the COs in wild type, but from an alternate, normally minor pathway. Thus, FANCM is a key factor imposing an upper limit on the number of meiotic COs, and its manipulation holds much promise for plant breeding.


Wayne Crismani's research focuses on identifying and characterising the mechanisms that limit meiotic crossover formation. He is based at the French National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA) with Raphael Mercier in the Meiosis and Recombination team at Versailles.

Previously he focused on meiosis in hexaploid bread wheat and understanding how this allopolyploid correctly recombines homologous chromosomes despite the presence of closely related homoeologues. His PhD at the University of Adelaide, Australia, was with Jason Able, the Molecular Plant Breeding Co-operative Research Centre (MPBCRC) and the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG).

The seminar is being hosted by Dr Isabelle Colas.

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.