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Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 18, pp 3037–3051 | Cite as

How to halve ploidy: lessons from budding yeast meiosis

  • Gary William Kerr
  • Sourav Sarkar
  • Prakash Arumugam
Multi-author review

Abstract

Maintenance of ploidy in sexually reproducing organisms requires a specialized form of cell division called meiosis that generates genetically diverse haploid gametes from diploid germ cells. Meiotic cells halve their ploidy by undergoing two rounds of nuclear division (meiosis I and II) after a single round of DNA replication. Research in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (budding yeast) has shown that four major deviations from the mitotic cell cycle during meiosis are essential for halving ploidy. The deviations are (1) formation of a link between homologous chromosomes by crossover, (2) monopolar attachment of sister kinetochores during meiosis I, (3) protection of centromeric cohesion during meiosis I, and (4) suppression of DNA replication following exit from meiosis I. In this review we present the current understanding of the above four processes in budding yeast and examine the possible conservation of molecular mechanisms from yeast to humans.

Keywords

Meiosis Gametogenesis Ploidy Cell cycle Shugoshin Monopolin FEAR 

Abbreviations

APC

Anaphase promoting complex

Cdk

Cyclin-dependent kinase

dHJ

Double Holliday junction

DSB

Double-strand break

FEAR

Cdc fourteen early anaphase release

MEN

Mitotic exit network

MT

Microtubule

SC

Synaptonemal complex

SPB

Spindle pole body

Notes

Acknowledgments

We apologize to numerous colleagues if, due to space constraints, their work is not cited in this review. P.A. and S.S. are supported by a grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC, BB/G00353X/1). G.W.K. is supported by a BBSRC-funded studentship.

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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary William Kerr
    • 1
  • Sourav Sarkar
    • 1
  • Prakash Arumugam
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Life SciencesUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK

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