Plant Chromosome Engineering

Volume 701 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 51-65


Homologous Recombination in Plants: An Antireview

  • Michal Lieberman-LazarovichAffiliated withDepartment of Plant Sciences, The Weizmann Institute of Science
  • , Avraham A. LevyAffiliated withDepartment of Plant Sciences, The Weizmann Institute of Science Email author 

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Homologous recombination (HR) is a central cellular process involved in many aspects of genome maintenance such as DNA repair, replication, telomere maintenance, and meiotic chromosomal segregation. HR is highly conserved among eukaryotes, contributing to genome stability as well as to the generation of genetic diversity. It has been intensively studied, for almost a century, in plants and in other organisms. In this antireview, rather than reviewing existing knowledge, we wish to underline the many open questions in plant HR. We will discuss the following issues: how do we define homology and how the degree of homology affects HR? Are there any plant-specific HR qualities, how extensive is functional conservation and did HR proteins acquire new functions? How efficient is HR in plants and what are the cis and the trans factors that regulate it? Finally, we will give the prospects for enhancing the rates of gene targeting and meiotic HR for plant breeding purposes.

Key words

Homologous recombination Meiotic recombination Zinc-finger nuclease Gene ­­targeting Chromatin remodeling Plant breeding