Graham and I have a new paper coming out in Genetics, in which we examine the potential role of sex-specific meiotic drive in the evolution of recombination (especially sex differences in recombination). Here’s a link to Graham’s entertaining blog entry describing our paper, and more broadly, the role of genetic conflicts in the evolution of meiosis.
Conflict is everywhere during sexual reproduction. Even meiosis is a battlefield (Pat Benatar had that right), as during meiosis and gametogenesis alleles can complete with each other within an individual to ensure their transmission to the next generation. No where is this more apparent than during female meiosis, where out of the 4 products of meiosis only one will go on to form the egg. This allows an opportunity for (true) meiotic drive, as an allele that distort meiosis in its favor when heterozygous can spread through the population. One great example of female meiotic drive is the chromosome knob system in maize (see here and references within), another putative example is provided by the great work of Fishman and Willis in Mimulus (here and here). There’s even female meiotic drive alleles humans, by chromosomal fusions, but the deleterious consequences in males mean that they only persist for short time periods…. more
gcbias: Scrambling eggs toasts meiotic drive.