Meiotic crossovers (COs) are not uniformly distributed across the genome. Factors affecting this phenomenon are not well understood. Although many species exhibit large differences in CO numbers between sexes, sex-specific aspects of CO landscape are particularly poorly elucidated. Here, we conduct high-resolution CO mapping in maize. Our results show that CO numbers as well as their overall distribution are similar in male and female meioses. There are, nevertheless, dissimilarities at local scale. Male and female COs differ in their locations relative to transcription start sites in gene promoters and chromatin marks, including nucleosome occupancy and tri-methylation of lysine 4 of histone H3 (H3K4me3). Our data suggest that sex-specific factors not only affect male-female CO number disparities but also cause fine differences in CO positions. Differences between male and female CO landscapes indicate that recombination has distinct implications for population structure and gene evolution in male and in female meioses.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank A. Peckrul and J. Hegstad for technical assistance, N. Springer for discussion, and T. Pawlowska for discussion and advice on computer modeling. This research was supported by grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation (IOS-1025881 and IOS-1546792)
© 2018 The Author(s).