Multiple roles of SMC5/6 complex during plant sexual reproduction

Yang, F., Pečinka. A.

Keywords: SMC5/6 complex; genome stability; meiosis; seed; reproductive development; fertility; polyploidy
Abstract: Chromatin-based processes are essential for cellular functions. Structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMCs) are evolutionarily conserved molecular machines that organize chromosomes throughout the cell cycle, mediate chromosome compaction, promote DNA repair, or control sister chromatid attachment. The SMC5/6 complex is known for its pivotal role during the maintenance of genome stability. However, a dozen recent plant studies expanded the repertoire of SMC5/6 complex functions to the entire plant sexual reproductive phase. The SMC5/6 complex is essential in meiosis, where its activity must be precisely regulated to allow for normal meiocyte development. Initially, it is attenuated by the recombinase RAD51 to allow for efficient strand invasion by the meiosis-specific recombinase DMC1. At later stages, it is essential for the normal ratio of interfering and noninterfering crossovers, detoxifying aberrant joint molecules, preventing chromosome fragmentation, and ensuring normal chromosome/sister chromatid segregation. The latter meiotic defects lead to the production of diploid male gametes in Arabidopsis SMC5/6 complex mutants, increased seed abortion, and production of triploid offspring. The SMC5/6 complex is directly involved in controlling normal embryo and endosperm cell divisions, and pioneer studies show that the SMC5/6 complex is also important for seed development and normal plant growth in cereals.
DOI: 10.3390/ijms23094503
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IEB authors: Aleš Pečinka, Fen Yang