The multiply inverted X chromosome balancer FM7 strongly suppresses, or eliminates, the occurrence of crossing over when heterozygous with a normal sequence homolog. We have utilized the LacI-GFP: lacO system to visualize the effects of FM7 on meiotic pairing, synapsis, and double-strand break formation in Drosophila oocytes. Surprisingly, the analysis of meiotic pairing and synapsis for three lacO reporter couplets in FM7/X heterozygotes revealed they are paired and synapsed during zygotene/pachytene in 70%–80% of oocytes. Moreover, the regions defined by these lacO couplets undergo double-strand break formation at normal frequency. Thus, even complex aberration heterozygotes usually allow high frequencies of meiotic pairing, synapsis, and double-strand break formation in Drosophila oocytes. However, the frequencies of failed pairing and synapsis were still 1.5- to 2-fold higher than were observed for corresponding regions in oocytes with two normal sequence X chromosomes, and this effect was greatest near a breakpoint. We propose that heterozygosity for breakpoints creates a local alteration in synaptonemal complex structure that is propagated across long regions of the bivalent in a fashion analogous to chiasma interference, which also acts to suppress crossing over.
Gong, W. J., McKim, K. S., & Hawley, R. S. (2005). All Paired Up with No Place to Go: Pairing, Synapsis, and DSB Formation in a Balancer Heterozygote. PLoS Genet, 1(5). http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.0010067
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