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Abstract

Sex in social amoebae (or dictyostelids) has a number of striking features. Dictyostelid zygotes do not proliferate but grow to a large size by feeding on other cells of the same species, each zygote ultimately forming a walled structure called a macrocyst. The diploid macrocyst nucleus undergoes meiosis, after which a single meiotic product survives to restart haploid vegetative growth. Meiotic recombination is generally initiated by the Spo11 enzyme, which introduces DNA double-strand breaks. Uniquely, as far as is known among sexual eukaryotes, dictyostelids lack a gene. Despite this, recombination occurs at high frequencies during meiosis in dictyostelids, through unknown mechanisms. The molecular processes underlying these events, and the evolutionary drivers that brought them into being, may shed light on the genetic conflicts that occur within and between genomes, and how they can be resolved.

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2018-09-08
2024-06-24
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