Evolutionary mysteries in meiosis

Lenormand, Thomas, Engelstaedter, Jan, Johnston, Susan E., Wijnker, Erik and Haag, Christoph R. (2016) Evolutionary mysteries in meiosis. Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences, 371 1706: . doi:10.1098/rstb.2016.0001

Author Lenormand, Thomas
Engelstaedter, Jan
Johnston, Susan E.
Wijnker, Erik
Haag, Christoph R.
Title Evolutionary mysteries in meiosis
Journal name Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1471-2970
Publication date 2016-10-19
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1098/rstb.2016.0001
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 371
Issue 1706
Total pages 14
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Language eng
Subject 1300 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Abstract Meiosis is a key event of sexual life cycles in eukaryotes. Its mechanistic details have been uncovered in several model organisms, and most of its essential features have received various and often contradictory evolutionary interpretations. In this perspective, we present an overview of these often ‘weird’ features. We discuss the origin of meiosis (origin of ploidy reduction and recombination, two-step meiosis), its secondary modifications (in polyploids or asexuals, inverted meiosis), its importance in punctuating life cycles (meiotic arrests, epigenetic resetting, meiotic asymmetry, meiotic fairness) and features associated with recombination (disjunction constraints, heterochiasmy, crossover interference and hotspots). We present the various evolutionary scenarios and selective pressures that have been proposed to account for these features, and we highlight that their evolutionary significance often remains largely mysterious. Resolving these mysteries will likely provide decisive steps towards understanding why sex and recombination are found in the majority of eukaryotes.
Keyword Automixis
Genetic conflict
Modified meiosis
Origin of meiosis
Recombination hotspots
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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