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The pattern of pairing that is effective for crossing over in complex B-A chromosome rearrangements in maize

III. Possible evidence for pairing centers

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The study of the mechanism of meiotic homolog pairing, approached by comparing chiasma frequencies in rearranged segments that differ in relative length and intrachromosomal location, is substantially extended here. For the first time, two kinds of evidence were found that centers specialized for alignment pairing may exist in maize chromosomes: (1) for two segments, higher than average crossover frequency per unit length was maintained when these were located in several different chromosomal positions with respect to centromere and telomere, and in fact apart from their own normal centromeres and telomeres. High crossover frequencies in these segments regardless of position are considered to reflect innate capacity for alignment pairing due to relatively strong pairing center content. (2) For a short rearranged segment, chiasma frequency was drastically reduced, and evidence suggests that all of the chiasmata found there depended upon juxtaposition made possible by the completion of the zip-up pairing process in the other arms of the translocation configuration. This short segment is thought to be essentially devoid of pairing center content. It seems possible that crossover frequency depression in short rearranged segments may usually not be due, as commonly supposed, to mechanical difficulties inherent in formation of contorted configurations, but rather to absence of pairing centers within them and the relative rarity (compared to the normal sequence situation) of enabling zip-up pairing. Evidence also indicates that pairing which leads to crossing over must frequently occur between internal translocated segments and their normal sequence counterparts in a way which cannot be dependent upon zipping-up of two-by-two pairing initiated at or near telomeres. Pairing centers in maize are probably numerous and widely dispersed, since coarse direct proportionality is found when chiasma frequency is compared for an array of segment lengths.

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Maguire, M.P. The pattern of pairing that is effective for crossing over in complex B-A chromosome rearrangements in maize. Chromosoma 94, 71–85 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00293532

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  • Normal Sequence
  • Pairing Center
  • Chiasma Frequency
  • Homolog Pairing
  • Crossover Frequency