The Tn3 beta-lactamase gene acts as a hotspot for meiotic recombination in yeast.
Although genetic distances are often assumed to be proportional to physical distances, chromosomal regions with unusually high (hotspots) or low (coldspots) levels of meiotic recombination have been described in a number of genetic systems. In general, the DNA sequences responsible for these effects have not been determined. We report that the 5' region of the beta-lactamase (ampR) gene of the bacterial transposon Tn3 is a hotspot for meiotic recombination when inserted into the chromosomes of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. When these sequences are homozygous, both crossing over and gene conversion are locally stimulated. The 5' end of the beta-lactamase gene is about 100-fold "hotter" for crossovers than an average yeast DNA sequence.
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