Overview

How is the genetic material disseminated to the next generation?

Chromosomes must be accurately partitioned to daughter cells during cell division. Errors in this process cause aneuploidy, a state in which cells have too many or two few chromosomes.

There are two kinds of cell division in the body, mitosis and meiosis.

Mitosis is the cell division that produces two identical daughter cells with the exact chromosome complement as the parental cell from which they arose. This is the division that occurs to generate the somatic cells of the body. Aneuploidy in mitosis is associated with cancer.

Meiosis is the cell division that produces gametes, such as eggs and sperm. During meiosis, the number of chromosomes is reduced by half. This is so when two gametes fuse, the normal somatic chromosome number is restored. Aneuploidy in meiosis is common. It is estimated that 10-30% conceptions are aneuploid. This causes infertility, miscarriages, stillbirth and chromosomal abnormalities such as Down’s syndrome. 

Our goal is to understand the mechanisms that partition the chromosomes into daughter cells during mitosis and meiosis. At the molecular level, these processes are remarkably conserved, even in simple organisms. In our work, we use the experimentally tractable yeast as a model system to gain fundamental insight into mechanisms of chromosome segregation.

Mitosis is the cell division that produces two identical daughter cells with the exact chromosome complement as the parental cell from which they arose. This is the division that occurs to generate the somatic cells of the body. Aneuploidy in mitosis is associated with cancer.

Meiosis is the cell division that produces gametes, such as eggs and sperm. During meiosis, the number of chromosomes is reduced by half. This is so when two gametes fuse, the normal somatic chromosome number is restored. Aneuploidy in meiosis is common. It is estimated that 10-30% conceptions are aneuploid. This causes infertility, miscarriages, stillbirth and chromosomal abnormalities such as Down’s syndrome.

Our goal is to understand the mechanisms that partition the chromosomes into daughter cells during mitosis and meiosis. At the molecular level, these processes are remarkably conserved, even in simple organisms. In our work, we use the experimentally tractable yeast as a model system to gain fundamental insight into mechanisms of chromosome segregation.