skip to primary navigationskip to content

Silence! - controlling recombination hotspots in plant genomes

last modified Oct 23, 2015 10:08 AM

The Henderson laboratory have published a new paper investigating epigenetic control of recombination hotspots.

Recombination is a major tool for crop breeding and improvement, which creates new combination of genetic diversity. Recombination is concentrated in narrow hotspots along the chromosomes and therefore it would be useful for breeders to control these hotspots. 

In this study the group used a technique to transfer an epigenetic mark, DNA methylation, onto hotspot sequences. They show that this mark is sufficient to silence recombination at the hotspots, demonstrating how information beyond the DNA sequence itself is important for recombination activity.

In the future similar epigenetic modifications in crop genomes could be useful to help breeders obtain the strains we will need in order to increase agricultural yields.

  • Yelina NE, Lambing C, Hardcastle TJ, Zhao X, Santos B, Henderson IR. DNA methylation epigenetically silences crossover hot spots and controls chromosomal domains of meiotic recombination in Arabidopsis. Genes & Dev. 2015. 29: 2183-2202.  doi: 10.1101/gad.270876.115

The Department has carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and has opened to allow research work to take place. To ensure the safety of our staff, a range of measures to reduce building occupancy and allow strict social distancing have been introduced, including increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. We are currently not accepting visitors so please continue to contact us by email until further notice.