During meiosis, DNA replication is followed by two consecutive rounds of chromosome segregation. Cells lacking the protein phosphatase CDC14 or its regulators, SPO12 and SLK19, undergo only a single meiotic division, with some chromosomes segregating reductionally and others equationally. We find that this abnormal chromosome behavior is due to an uncoupling of meiotic events. Anaphase I spindle disassembly is delayed in cdc14-1, slk19Delta, or spo12Delta mutants, but the chromosome segregation cycle continues, so that both meiotic chromosome segregation phases take place on the persisting meiosis I spindle. Our results show that Cdc14, Slk19, and Spo12 are not only required for meiosis I spindle disassembly but also play a pivotal role in establishing two consecutive chromosome segregation phases, a key feature of the meiotic cell cycle.
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