We have designed a screen to isolate mutants defective during a specific part of meiotic prophase I of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genes required for the repair of meiotic double-strand breaks or for the separation of recombined chromosomes are targets of this mutant hunt. The specificity is achieved by selecting for mutants that produce viable spores when recombination and reductional segregation are prevented by mutations in SPO11 and SP013 genes, but fail to yield viable spores during a normal Rec+ meiosis. We have identified and characterized a mutation com1-1, which blocks processing of meiotic double-strand breaks and which interferes with synaptonemal complex formation, homologous pairing and, as a consequence, spore viability after induction of meiotic recombination. The COM1/SAE2 gene was cloned by complementation, and the deletion mutant has a phenotype similar to com1-1. com1/sae2 mutants closely resemble the phenotype of rad50S, as assayed by phase-contrast microscopy for spore formation, physical and genetic analysis of recombination, fluorescence in situ hybridization to quantify homologous pairing and immunofluorescence and electron microscopy to determine the capability to synapse axial elements.
- Received September 18, 1996.
- Accepted February 19, 1997.
- Copyright © 1997 by the Genetics Society of America