About this Research Topic
This Research Topic addresses the fundamental mechanisms of meiosis in both model and crop plants, as well as their implication for plant breeding.
Plants were in the forefront of the study of meiosis in the first half of the 20th century. The pioneering work of Creighton and McClintock in 1931, in corn, provided the first convincing evidence that an exchange between genes is accompanied by an exchange of a physical part of homologous chromosomes. This is a very representative example of the importance that cytological studies have in our knowledge of the meiotic process. Eighty-six years later, homologous recombination remains in the focus of the meiotic research and cytological approaches are crucial to verify the phenotype of meiotic mutants.
During the last three decades, achievements of plant meiosis have been mainly based on the isolation of mutants and genes involved in the meiotic control. These studies, most of them developed in the model species Arabidopsis thaliana, others in rice or maize, have enabled to create the tools to analyze the meiotic division in crop species. Additionally, relevant contribution has also been derived from the use of chromosome mutants in polyploid wheats. Nowadays, many laboratories try to modify meiotic recombination to improve the sustainability of food production in crops. Meiotic recombination generates new genotypes that can be tested for enhanced crop yield. This challenge is of key interest for plant breeding purposes.
Many crop species – such as wheat, cotton, tobacco, apple, potato, sugarcane - are polyploids. Polyploidy complicates the meiotic program. Indeed, in the presence of three or more copies of genetically related genomes, complex chromosome interactions may occur in the first meiotic division, resulting in irregular chromosome segregation at anaphase I and hence unbalanced gametes. Genes that ensure a diploid-like chromosome behavior are known in wheat and Brassica species, but their mode of action is not well understood. Manipulation of these genes could be useful to introgress new traits from wild relatives into polyploid crops by interspecific recombination.
This Research Topic aims at covering the latest findings in plant meiosis, in both model species and crops, to provide readers with a guide addressing our fundamental knowledge of meiosis as well as its implications for plant breeding. We particularly welcome manuscripts dealing with the following:
- double-strand break formation and distribution
- chromatid cohesion and chromosome segregation
- chromosome dynamics in meiosis
- control of crossover distribution
- meiosis in polyploids
- interspecific recombination
We particularly welcome the following article types: Original Research, Methods, and Reviews.
Keywords: Homologous Recombination, Arabidopsis, Crops, Polyploids, Breeding
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.