Christian Brion, Sylvain Legrand, Jackson Peter, Claudia Caradec, David Pflieger, Jing Hou, Anne Friedrich, Bertrand Llorente, Joseph Schacherer
PLoS Genet. 2017 Aug 1;13(8):e1006917. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006917. eCollection 2017 Aug.
Meiotic recombination is a major factor of genome evolution, deeply characterized in only a few model species, notably the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Consequently, little is known about variations of its properties across species. In this respect, we explored the recombination landscape of Lachancea kluyveri, a protoploid yeast species that diverged from the Saccharomyces genus more than 100 million years ago and we found striking differences with S. cerevisiae. These variations include a lower recombination rate, a higher frequency of chromosomes segregating without any crossover and the absence of recombination on the chromosome arm containing the sex locus. In addition, although well conserved within the Saccharomyces clade, the S. cerevisiae recombination hotspots are not conserved over a broader evolutionary distance. Finally and strikingly, we found evidence of frequent reversal of commitment to meiosis, resulting in return to mitotic growth after allele shuffling. Identification of this major but underestimated evolutionary phenomenon illustrates the relevance of exploring non-model species.