Mutants defective in meiotic recombination were isolated from a disomic haploid strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae by examining recombination within the leu2 and his4 heteroalleles located on chromosome III. The mutants were classified into two new complementation groups (MRE2 and MRE11) and eight previously identified groups, which include SPO11, HOP1, REC114, MRE4/MEK1 and genes in the RAD52 epistasis group. All of the mutants, in which the mutations in the new complementation groups are homozygous and diploid, can undergo premeiotic DNA synthesis and produce spores. The spores are, however, not viable. The mre2 and mre11 mutants produce viable spores in a spo13 background, in which meiosis I is bypassed, suggesting that these mutants are blocked at an early step in meiotic recombination. The mre2 mutant does not exhibit any unusual phenotype during mitosis and it is, thus, considered to have a mutation in a meiosis-specific gene. By contrast, the mre11 mutant is sensitive to damage to DNA by methyl methanesulfonate and exhibits a hyperrecombination phenotype in mitosis. Among six alleles of HOP1 that were isolated, an unusual pattern of intragenic complementation was observed.
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