Mechanisms of crossover patterning

The project will be supervised by Raphaël Mercier at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research.


Meiotic crossovers shuffle genetic information during sexual reproduction. However, crossovers are limited in number, typically 1-3 per chromosome, and are prevented from occurring close to each other by crossover interference. How this patterning is imposed remains poorly understood. A recently proposed model suggests that the pro-crossover HEI10 protein diffuses along chromosomes and forms large aggregates through a coarsening process. This would lead spontaneously to well-space crossover-promoting foci, providing a mechanism for crossover patterning. The project aims at further testing and refining the coarsening model in Arabidopsis thaliana, through a combination of molecular biology, live and super-resolution microscopy, protein-protein interaction studies, and genetic screens.

Key publication: Durand, S., Lian, Q., Jing, J. et al. Joint control of meiotic crossover patterning by the synaptonemal complex and HEI10 dosage. Nat Commun 13, 5999 (2022).

Link to the Mercier group homepage:

Go to Editor View