Meiotic drive of female-inherited supernumerary chromosomes in a pathogenic fungus

Michael Habig, Gert Hj Kema, Eva Holtgrewe Stukenbrock*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Meiosis is a key cellular process of sexual reproduction that includes pairing of homologous sequences. In many species however, meiosis can also involve the segregation of supernumerary chromosomes, which can lack a homolog. How these unpaired chromosomes undergo meiosis is largely unknown. In this study we investigated chromosome segregation during meiosis in the haploid fungus Zymoseptoria tritici that possesses a large complement of supernumerary chromosomes. We used isogenic whole chromosome deletion strains to compare meiotic transmission of chromosomes when paired and unpaired. Unpaired chromosomes inherited from the male parent as well as paired supernumerary chromosomes in general showed Mendelian inheritance. In contrast, unpaired chromosomes inherited from the female parent showed non-Mendelian inheritance but were amplified and transmitted to all meiotic products. We concluded that the supernumerary chromosomes of Z. tritici show a meiotic drive and propose an additional feedback mechanism during meiosis, which initiates amplification of unpaired female-inherited chromosomes.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2018


  • accessory chromosome
  • B chromosome
  • chromosomes
  • gene expression
  • genetics
  • genomics
  • meiotic drive
  • selfish genetic elements
  • tetrad analysis
  • Zymoseptoria tritici


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