MER3 is required for normal meiotic crossover formation, but not for presynaptic alignment in rice
Kejian Wang, Ding Tang, Mo Wang, Jufei Lu, Hengxiu Yu, Jiafan Liu, Baoxiang Qian, Zhiyun Gong, Xin Wang, Jianmin Chen, Minghong Gu, and Zhukuan Cheng
MER3, a ZMM protein, is required for the formation of crossovers in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Arabidopsis. Here, MER3, the first identified ZMM gene in a monocot, is characterized by map-based cloning in rice (Oryza sativa). The null mutation of MER3 results in complete sterility without any vegetative defects. Cytological analyses show that chiasma frequency is reduced dramatically in mer3 mutants and the remaining chiasmata distribute randomly among different pollen mother cells, implying possible coexistence of two kinds of crossover in rice. Immunocytological analyses reveal that MER3 only exists as foci in prophase I meiocytes. In addition, MER3 does not colocalize with PAIR2 at the beginning of prophase I, but locates on one end of PAIR2 fragments at later stages, whereas MER3 foci merely locate on one end of REC8 fragments when signals start to be seen in early prophase I. The normal loading of PAIR2 and REC8 in mer3...