Indexed on: 01 Mar '03Published on: 01 Mar '03Published in: Chromosome Research
Arabidopsis has emerged as an important model for the analysis of meiosis in Angiosperm plants, creating an interesting and useful parallel to other model organisms. This development has been underpinned by advances in the molecular biology and genetics of Arabidopsis, especially the determination of its entire genome sequence. However, these advances alone would have been insufficient without the development of improved methods for cytological analysis and cytogenetic investigation of meiotic nuclei and chromosomes. A basic descriptive framework of meiosis in Arabidopsis has been established based on these procedures. In addition, molecular cytogenetic and immunocytological techniques have provided supplementary detailed information on some aspects of meiosis. Gene identification and characterization have proceeded in parallel with these developments based on both forward and reverse genetic procedures utilising the considerable range of Arabidopsis genetic and molecular resources, such as T-DNA and transposon tagged lines as well as the genomic DNA database, in combination with cytological analysis. A diverse range of meiotic genes have been identified and analysed by these procedures and in selected cases they have been subjected to detailed functional analysis. This review focuses on genes that are involved in the key meiotic events of chromosome synapsis and recombination.