Following the Formation of Synaptonemal Complex Formation in Wheat and Barley by High-Resolution Microscopy

Benoit Darrier, Mikel Arrieta, Sybille U. Mittmann, Pierre Sourdille, Luke Ramsay, Robbie Waugh, Isabelle Colas (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
180 Downloads (Pure)


Wheat and barley have large genomes of 15 Gb and 5.1 Gb, respectively, which is much larger than the human genome (3.3 Gb). The release of their respective genomes has been a tremendous advance the understanding of the genome organization and the ability for deeper functional analysis in particular meiosis. Meiosis is the cell division required during sexual reproduction. One major event of meiosis is called recombination, or the formation of crossing over, a tight link between homologous chromosomes, ensuring gene exchange and faithful chromosome segregation. Recombination is a major driver of genetic diversity but in these large genome crops, the vast majority of these events is constrained at the end of their chromosomes. It is estimated that in barley, about 30% of the genes are located within the poor recombining centromeric regions, making important traits, such as resistance to pest and disease for example, difficult to access. Increasing recombination in these crops has the potential to speed up breeding program and requires a good understand of the meiotic mechanism. However, most research on recombination in plant has been carried in Arabidopsis thaliana which despite many of the advantages it brings for plant research, has a small genome and more spread out of recombination compare to barley or wheat. Advance in microscopy and cytological procedures have emerged in the last few years, allowing to follow meiotic events in these crops. This protocol provides the steps required for cytological preparation of barley and wheat pollen mother cells for light microscopy, highlighting some of the differences between the two cereals.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlant Meiosis
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
EditorsMónica Pradillo, Stefan Heckmann
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781493998180
ISBN (Print)9781493998173
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • 3D microscopy
  • Barley
  • Meiosis
  • Synapsis
  • Wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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