CENP-A binding domains and recombination patterns in horse spermatocytes

Eleonora Cappelletti, Francesca M. Piras, Claudia Badiale, Marina Bambi, Marco Santagostino, Covadonga Vara, Teri A. Masterson, Kevin F. Sullivan, Solomon G. Nergadze, Aurora Ruiz-Herrera, Elena Giulotto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Centromeres exert an inhibitory effect on meiotic recombination, but the possible contribution of satellite DNA to this “centromere effect” is under debate. In the horse, satellite DNA is present at all centromeres with the exception of the one from chromosome 11. This organization of centromeres allowed us to investigate the role of satellite DNA on recombination suppression in horse spermatocytes at the stage of pachytene. To this aim we analysed the distribution of the MLH1 protein, marker of recombination foci, relative to CENP-A, marker of centromeric function. We demonstrated that the satellite-less centromere of chromosome 11 causes crossover suppression, similarly to satellite-based centromeres. These results suggest that the centromere effect does not depend on satellite DNA. During this analysis, we observed a peculiar phenomenon: while, as expected, the centromere of the majority of meiotic bivalent chromosomes was labelled with a single immunofluorescence centromeric signal, double-spotted or extended signals were also detected. Their number varied from 0 to 7 in different cells. This observation can be explained by positional variation of the centromeric domain on the two homologs and/or misalignment of pericentromeric satellite DNA arrays during homolog pairing confirming the great plasticity of equine centromeres.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15800
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


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