Methods in Molecular Biology Volume 557, 2009, pp 3-20
Date: 25 May 2009

Interaction of Genetic and Environmental Factors in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Meiosis: The Devil is in the Details

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Abstract

One of the most important principles of scientific endeavour is that the results be reproducible from lab to lab. Although research groups rarely redo the published experiments of their colleagues, research plans almost always rely on the work of someone else. The assumption is that if the same experiment were repeated in another lab, results would be so similar that the same interpretation would be favoured. This notion allows one researcher to compare his/her own results to earlier work from other labs. An essential prerequisite for this is that the experiments are done in identical conditions and therefore the methodology must be clearly stated. While this may be scientific common sense, adherence is difficult because “standard” methods vary from one laboratory to another in subtle ways that are often not reported. More importantly, for many years the field of yeast meiotic recombination considered typical differences to be innocuous. This chapter will highlight the documented environmental and genetic variables that are known to influence meiotic recombination in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Other potential methodological sources of variation in meiotic experiments are also discussed. A careful assessment of the effects of these variables, has led to insights into our understanding of the control of recombination and meiosis.