Genome duplication increases meiotic recombination frequency: a Saccharomyces cerevisiae model

Fang Ou, Lin Wang, Yuxin Zhang, Jixuan Yang, Qin Tao, Fengjun Zhang, Zewei Luo

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Genetic recombination characterized by reciprocal exchange of genes on paired homologous chromosomes is the most prominent event in meiosis of almost all sexually reproductive organisms. It contributes to genome stability by ensuring the balanced segregation of paired homologs in meiosis, and it is also the major driving factor in generating genetic variation for natural and artificial selection. Meiotic recombination is subjected to the control of a highly stringent and complex regulating process and meiotic recombination frequency (MRF) may be affected by biological and abiotic factors such as sex, gene density, nucleotide content and chemical/temperature treatments, having motivated tremendous researches for artificially manipulating MRF. Whether genome polyploidization would lead to a significant change in MRF has attracted both historical and recent research interests, however tackling this fundamental question is methodologically challenging due to the lack of appropriate methods for tetrasomic genetic analysis, thus has led to controversial conclusions in the literature. This paper presents a comprehensive and rigorous survey of genome duplication mediated change in MRF using S. cerevisiae as a eukaryotic model. It demonstrates that genome duplication can lead to consistently significant increase in MRF and rate of crossovers across all sixteen chromosomes of S. cerevisiae, including both cold and hot spots of MRF. This ploidy driven change in MRF is associated with weakened recombination interference, enhanced double-strand break density and loosened chromatin histone occupation. The study illuminates a significant evolutionary feature of genome duplication and opens an opportunity to accelerate response to artificial and natural selection through polyploidization.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbermsaa219
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Early online date8 Sept 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Sept 2020


  • Meiotic recombination frequency
  • Genome duplication
  • Tetrasomic linkage analysis
  • S. cerevisiae


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