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Volume 23, Issue 6 (November 2021) 23, 562–571; 10.4103/aja.aja_86_20

Crossover patterns under meiotic chromosome program

Shunxin Wang1,2,3,4,5, Yongliang Shang1, Yanlei Liu1, Binyuan Zhai1,2, Xiao Yang1, Liangran Zhang1,2,3,4,5,6,7

1 Center for Reproductive Medicine, Cheeloo College of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan 250012, China
2 Key Laboratory of Reproductive Endocrinology of Ministry of Education, Shandong University, Jinan 250012, China
3 Shandong Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Jinan 250012, China
4 Shandong Provincial Clinical Research Center for Reproductive Health, Jinan 250012, China
5 National Research Center for Assisted Reproductive Technology and Reproductive Genetics, Shandong University, Jinan 250012, China
6 Advanced Medical Research Institute, Shandong University, Jinan 250014, China
7 State Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology, Shandong University, Qingdao 266237, China

Correspondence: Dr. SX Wang (shunxinwang@sdu.edu.cn) or Dr. LR Zhang (zhangliangran@sdu.edu.cn)

Date of Submission 28-May-2020 Date of Acceptance 18-Nov-2020 Date of Web Publication 26-Jan-2021


Repairing DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) with homologous chromosomes as templates is the hallmark of meiosis. The critical outcome of meiotic homologous recombination is crossovers, which ensure faithful chromosome segregation and promote genetic diversity of progenies. Crossover patterns are tightly controlled and exhibit three characteristics: obligatory crossover, crossover interference, and crossover homeostasis. Aberrant crossover patterns are the leading cause of infertility, miscarriage, and congenital disease. Crossover recombination occurs in the context of meiotic chromosomes, and it is tightly integrated with and regulated by meiotic chromosome structure both locally and globally. Meiotic chromosomes are organized in a loop-axis architecture. Diverse evidence shows that chromosome axis length determines crossover frequency. Interestingly, short chromosomes show different crossover patterns compared to long chromosomes. A high frequency of human embryos are aneuploid, primarily derived from female meiosis errors. Dramatically increased aneuploidy in older women is the well-known “maternal age effect.” However, a high frequency of aneuploidy also occurs in young women, derived from crossover maturation inefficiency in human females. In addition, frequency of human aneuploidy also shows other age-dependent alterations. Here, current advances in the understanding of these issues are reviewed, regulation of crossover patterns by meiotic chromosomes are discussed, and issues that remain to be investigated are suggested.

Keywords: aneuploidy; chromosome; crossover; crossover interference; crossover pattern; meiosis; recombination

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