Natural variation and dosage of the HEI10 meiotic E3 ligase control Arabidopsis crossover recombination

Piotr A. Ziolkowski, Charles J. Underwood, Christophe Lambing, Marina Martinez-Garcia, Emma J. Lawrence, Liliana Ziolkowska, Catherine Griffin, Kyuha Choi, Chris Franklin, Robert A. Martienssen, Ian Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)
163 Downloads (Pure)


During meiosis, homologous chromosomes undergo crossover recombination, which creates genetic diversity and balances homolog segregation. Despite these critical functions, crossover frequency varies extensively within and between species. Although natural crossover recombination modifier loci have been detected in plants, causal genes have remained elusive. Using natural Arabidopsis thaliana accessions, we identified two major recombination quantitative trait loci (rQTLs) that explain 56.9% of crossover variation in Col×Ler F2 populations. We mapped rQTL1 to semidominant polymorphisms in HEI10, which encodes a conserved ubiquitin E3 ligase that regulates crossovers. Null hei10 mutants are haploinsufficient, and, using genome-wide mapping and immunocytology, we show that transformation of additional HEI10 copies is sufficient to more than double euchromatic crossovers. However, heterochromatic centromeres remained recombination-suppressed. The strongest HEI10-mediated crossover increases occur in subtelomeric euchromatin, which is reminiscent of sex differences in Arabidopsis recombination. Our work reveals that HEI10 naturally limits Arabidopsis crossovers and has the potential to influence the response to selection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-317
JournalGenes & Development
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2017


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