The mismatch repair protein MLH1 marks a subset of strongly interfering crossovers in tomato

F.G.P. Lhuissier, H.H. Offenberg, P.E. Wittich, N.O.E. Vischer, C. Heyting

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70 Citations (Scopus)


In most eukaryotes, the prospective chromosomal positions of meiotic crossovers are marked during meiotic prophase by protein complexes called late recombination nodules (LNs). In tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), a cytological recombination map has been constructed based on LN positions. We demonstrate that the mismatch repair protein MLH1 occurs in LNs. We determined the positions of MLH1 foci along the 12 tomato chromosome pairs (bivalents) during meiotic prophase and compared the map of MLH1 focus positions with that of LN positions. On all 12 bivalents, the number of MLH1 foci was 70% of the number of LNs. Bivalents with zero MLH1 foci were rare, which argues against random failure of detecting MLH1 in the LNs. We inferred that there are two types of LNs, MLH1-positive and MLH1-negative LNs, and that each bivalent gets an obligate MLH1-positive LN. The two LN types are differently distributed along the bivalents. Furthermore, cytological interference among MLH1 foci was much stronger than interference among LNs, implying that MLH1 marks the positions of a subset of strongly interfering crossovers. Based on the distances between MLH1 foci or LNs, we propose that MLH1-positive and MLH1-negative LNs stem from the same population of weakly interfering precursors
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)862-876
JournalThe Plant Cell
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • two-dimensional spreads
  • lycopersicon-esculentum tomato
  • sister-chromatid cohesion
  • meiotic crossing-over
  • synaptonemal complexes
  • solanaceous plants
  • recombination nodules
  • chromosome synapsis
  • meiosis
  • arabidopsis

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