Abstract: Series 115, Lecture 7

The Harvey Lectures Series 115 (2019—2020)

previous lecture

Lecture #7: To Be Determined — Time and Location

This lecture will be rescheduled.

Pairing and patterning between meiotic chromosomes

Abby Dernburg, PhD

Abby Dernburg, PhD

Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Dr Dernburg's Website

Meiosis is essential for sexual reproduction. Recombination between parental chromosomes during meiosis facilitates purging of deleterious mutations, creates new combinations of alleles, and underlies the “endless forms most beautiful” of eukaryotic organisms. Successful recombination and chromosome segregation during meiosis involve an intricate series of chromosome interactions. Each chromosome must recognize and “zipper up” lengthwise with its unique homologous partner to establish the physical framework that enables and regulates meiotic recombination. Crossover recombination gives rise to physical links known as chiasmata, which direct the proper segregation of each chromosome pair. Despite decades of research, the molecular mechanisms underlying key aspects of meiotic chromosome interactions remain enigmatic. My lecture will highlight our recent efforts to illuminate two longstanding mysteries: 1) How do chromosomes recognize their partners during meiosis? 2) What regulates the spatial patterning of crossovers along paired chromosomes?