Meiotic recombination drives eukaryotic sexual reproduction and the generation of genome diversity. Tetrad analysis, which examines the four chromatids resulting from a single meiosis, is an ideal method to study the mechanisms of homologous recombination. Here we develop a method to isolate the four microspores from a single tetrad in maize for the purpose of whole-genome sequencing. A high-resolution recombination map reveals that crossovers are unevenly distributed across the genome and are more likely to occur in the genic than intergenic regions, especially common in the 5′- and 3′-end regions of annotated genes. The direct detection of genomic exchanges suggests that conversions likely occur in most crossover tracts. Negative crossover interference and weak chromatid interference are observed at the population level. Overall, our findings further our understanding of meiotic recombination with implications for both basic and applied research.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We appreciated the helpful comments on the manuscript from Dr Marilyn Warburton. This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31123009 and 31222041) and the National Hi-Tech Research and Development Program of China (2012AA10A307) and the National Youth Top-notch Talent Support Program.