The asymmetry of female meiosis reduces the frequency of inheritance of unpaired chromosomes

Daniel Cortes, Karen McNally, Paul E. Mains, Francis J. McNally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Trisomy, the presence of a third copy of one chromosome, is deleterious and results in inviable or defective progeny if passed through the germ line. Randomsegregation of an extra chromosome is predicted to result in a high frequency of trisomic offspring from a trisomic parent. C. elegans with trisomy of the X chromosome, however, have far fewer trisomic offspring than expected. We found that the extra X chromosome was preferentially eliminated during anaphase I of female meiosis. We utilized a mutant with a specific defect in pairing of the X chromosome as a model to investigate the apparent bias against univalent inheritance. First, univalents lagged during anaphase I and their movement was biased toward the cortex and future polar body. Second, late-lagging univalents were frequently captured by the ingressing polar body contractile ring. The asymmetry of female meiosis can thus partially correct pre-existing trisomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere06056
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 7 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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