DNA repair during nonreductional meiosis in the asexual rotifer Adineta vaga

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Rotifers of the class Bdelloidea are microscopic animals notorious for their long-term persistence in the apparent absence of sexual reproduction and meiotic recombination. This evolutionary paradox is often counterbalanced by invoking their ability to repair environmentally induced genome breakage. By studying the dynamics of DNA damage response in the bdelloid species Adineta vaga, we found that it occurs rapidly in the soma, producing a partially reassembled genome. By contrast, germline DNA repair is delayed to a specific time window of oogenesis during which homologous chromosomes adopt a meiotic-like juxtaposed configuration, resulting in accurate reconstitution of the genome in the offspring. Our finding that a noncanonical meiosis is the mechanism of germline DNA repair in bdelloid rotifers gives previously unidentified insights on their enigmatic long-term evolution.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScience Advances
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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