A mutation in the FHA domain of Coprinus cinereus Nbs1 leads to Spo11-independent meiotic recombination and chromosome segregation Academic Article uri icon

publication date

  • 2013


  • Nbs1, a core component of the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 complex, plays an essential role in the cellular response to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and poorly understood roles in meiosis. We used the basidiomycete Coprinus cinereus to examine the meiotic roles of Nbs1. We identified the C. cinereus nbs1 gene and demonstrated that it corresponds to a complementation group previously known as rad3. One allele, nbs1-2, harbors a point mutation in the Nbs1 FHA domain and has a mild spore viability defect, increased frequency of meiosis I nondisjunction, and an altered crossover distribution. The nbs1-2 strain enters meiosis with increased levels of phosphorylated H2AX, which we hypothesize represent unrepaired DSBs formed during premeiotic replication. In nbs1-2, there is no apparent induction of Spo11-dependent DSBs during prophase. We propose that replication-dependent DSBs, resulting from defective replication fork protection and processing by the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 complex, are competent to form meiotic crossovers in C. cinereus, and that these crossovers lead to high levels of faithful chromosome segregation. In addition, although crossover distribution is altered in nbs1-2, the majority of crossovers were found in subtelomeric regions, as in wild-type. Therefore, the location of crossovers in C. cinereus is maintained when DSBs are induced via a Spo11-independent mechanism.