Although chromosomal segregation at meiosis I is the critical process for genetic reassortment and inheritance, little is known about molecules involved in this process in metazoa. Here we show by utilizing double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-mediated genetic interference that novel protein kinases (Ce-CDS-1 and Ce-CDS-2) related to Cds1 (Chk2) play an essential role in meiotic recombination in Caenorhabditis elegans. Injection of dsRNA into adult animals resulted in the inhibition of meiotic crossing over and induced the loss of chiasmata at diakenesis in oocytes of F1 animals. However, electron microscopic analysis revealed that synaptonemal complex formation in pachytene nuclei of the same progeny of injected animals appeared to be normal. Thus, Ce-CDS-1 and Ce-CDS-2 are the first example of Cds1-related kinases that are required for meiotic recombination in multicellular organisms.
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