The segregation of homologous chromosomes from one another is the essence of meiosis. In many organisms, accurate segregation is ensured by the formation of chiasmata resulting from crossing over. Drosophila melanogaster females use this type of recombination-based system, but they also have mechanisms for segregating achiasmate chromosomes with high fidelity. We describe a P-element mutagenesis and screen in a sensitized genetic background to detect mutations that impair meiotic chromosome pairing, recombination, or segregation. Our screen identified two new recombination-deficient mutations: mei-P22, which fully eliminates meiotic recombination, and mei-P26, which decreases meiotic exchange by 70% in a polar fashion. We also recovered an unusual allele of the ncd gene, whose wild-type product is required for proper structure and function of the meiotic spindle. However, the screen yielded primarily mutants specifically defective in the segregation of achiasmate chromosomes. Although most of these are alleles of previously undescribed genes, five were in the known genes alphaTubulin67C, CycE, push, and Trl. The five mutations in known genes produce novel phenotypes for those genes.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/rachael_french/7/