In most organisms, including humans, meiotic recombination occurs preferentially at a limited number of sites in the genome known as hotspots. There has been substantial progress recently in elucidating the factors determining the location of meiotic recombination hotspots, and it is becoming clear that simple sequence motifs play a significant role. In S. pombe, there are at least five unique sequence motifs that have been shown to produce hotspots of recombination, and it is likely that there are more. In S. cerevisiae, simple sequence motifs have also been shown to produce hotspots or show significant correlations with hotspots. Some of the hotspot motifs in both yeasts are known or suspected to bind transcription factors (TFs), which are required for the activity of those hotspots. Here we show that four of the five hotspot motifs identified in S. pombe also create hotspots in the distantly related budding yeast S. cerevisiae. For one of these hotspots, M26 (also called CRE), we identify TFs, Cst6 and Sko1, that activate and inhibit the hotspot, respectively. In addition, two of the hotspot motifs show significant correlations with naturally occurring hotspots. The conservation of these hotspots between the distantly related fission and budding yeasts suggests that these sequence motifs, and others yet to be discovered, may function widely as hotspots in many diverse organisms.
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