Chromosome structure; Cytogenetics, meiosis; Plant reproductive biology; Reciprocal genetic exchange; Synapsis; Student engagement
In the Hasenkampf laboratory work is focused on in the structure and function of eukaryotic chromosomes. We are particularly interested in how the specialized chromosome structures found during meiosis allow homologous chromosomes to come together, recognize each other and undergo reciprocal genetic exchange. We use DNA and protein purification techniques combined with immuno-cytochemistry, light and electron microscopy and mutant analysis to study meiosis in Arabidopsis thaliana. We are actively investigating the role of the HOP2 gene (known as AHP2 in Arabidopsis) in the process of synaptonemal complex formation and reciprocal genetic exchange resolution. We are also exploring how, in the hop2 mutant failure of these processes is communicated to reproductive structures.