Arp Schnittger - The cell biology of genetics
14:00 - 15:30
Recombination between homologous chromosomes is a fundamental source of genetic variation andthe basis of nearly all genetics. With this, recombination is also key to evolution and breeding. Theexchange of chromosome segments is accomplished in meiosis and involves tight control ofchromosome behavior, i.e. pairing and synapsis of homologous chromosomes, the formation of DNAdouble strand break and subsequent repair through cross-overs followed by an intricate mechanism toequally distribute the chromosomes to daughter cells. Our research goal is to understand howrecombination is controlled and how the distinct molecular events of the recombination process areorchestrated. We have focused on the cell cycle control machinery and have in particular identifiedCYCLIN-DEPENDENT KINASE A;1 (CDKA;1), the Arabidopsis homolog of the animal and yeastkinases Cdk1 and Cdk2, as a major driving force through meiosis. A substrate search revealed thatmany of the central meiotic regulators are potential CDK phospho-targets. To further elaborate on thecontrol processes of meiosis, we have developed a live cell imaging system that allows us to followchromosome behavior in great temporal and spatial resolution. This imaging system also provides uswith a new possibility to quantify the dynamic processes of meiosis. Here, I will present the latest datafrom our team how differential phosphorylation influences recombination and promotes progressionthrough meiosis.