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8 Recombination in Yeast

Thomas D. Petes, Robert E. Malone, Lorraine S. Symington


The exchange of information between DNA molecules is a process found in every organism that has been investigated in detail. Because recombination in eukaryotes occurs most frequently during meiosis after chromosome replication, much of our understanding of eukaryotic recombination is based on organisms (such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae) in which all products of an individual meiosis can be analyzed. In this chapter, we summarize studies of homologous recombination (meiotic and mitotic) in the yeast S. cerevisiae. We discuss less comprehensively recombination in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, emphasizing areas of research representing either particularly important contributions (e.g., the analysis of hot spots for meiotic recombination) or interesting contrasts with S. cerevisiae.

The two goals of this chapter are (1) to introduce genetic studies of recombination and issues of interest in this area to yeast workers outside the immediate field and (2) to discuss recent recombination studies in the context of earlier work summarized in previous reviews (Esposito and Wagstaff 1981; Fogel et al. 1981; Orr-Weaver and Szostak 1985; Resnick 1987; Hastings 1988; Roeder and Stewart 1988; Thaler and Stahl 1988). This review is limited to general homologous recombination and does not concern exchanges catalyzed by specialized enzyme systems.

As with other areas of yeast research, recombinant DNA procedures have had a major impact on studies of recombination (Haber et al. 1988; Petes and Hill 1988; Petes et al. 1989). Before we discuss meiotic and mitotic recombination in detail, we outline some of the general applications of this methodology to...

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