• Engebrecht, Joanne (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The meiotic cell cycle enables diploid organisms to generate haploid
gametes by completing a single round of DNA replication followed by two
successive rounds of chromosome segregation. Therefore, the faithful
transmission of genetic information at meiosis is essential for the
propagation of sexually reproductive organisms. Missegregation of a
single chromosome during meiosis has severe consequences, resulting in
defective or inviable progeny. Probing the underlying molecular
mechanisms of meiotic chromosome segregation is essential to
understanding how chromosomes disjoin with fidelity and how this process
can be perturbed. The sequence of meiotic events in the yeast,
Sacchromyces cerevisiae, is fundamentally similar to the analogous events
in higher eukaryotes; therefore, yeast serves as an excellent model
system for the study of meiotic chromosome segregation. Genetic analysis
of meiosis in yeast has provided a wealth of information concerning how
chromosome synapsis and genetic recombination mediate disjunction at the
first meiotic division. However, very few genes have been shown to
function in other processes essential for homologous chromosome
disjunction. This application proposes to use a genetic approach to
identify and characterize genes which function to insure homologous
chromosome segregation at the first meiotic division. Several meiotic-
lethal, recombination-proficient mutants have been isolated. The
phenotypes of these mutants, designated mes (meiotic segregation)
mutants, suggest that they carry mutations in genes which function to
mediate chromosome disjunction without affecting recombination. The mes
mutants will be further characterized genetically to determine at what
step chromosome segregation has been perturbed. The wild-type genes will
be cloned and sequenced. Cytological studies will be performed to
localize the MES gene products to specific meiotic structures.
Additionally, interacting gene products will be identified using genetic
and biochemical approaches. Analysis of function of MES and interacting
gene products will provide information about how chromosomes segregate
with fidelity during the meiotic cell cycle.
Effective start/end date1/1/9312/31/98


  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $32,805.00
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $109,782.00


  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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