Meiosis is the specialised type of cell division that produces the cells required for sexual reproduction (pollen and egg cells in plants).
During meiosis, chromosomes are ‘reshuffled’ in a process called meiotic recombination and this process is important for generating diversity within offspring. However, meiotic recombination is exquisitely sensitive to changes in genome architecture (e.g. whole genome duplication) and environmental conditions (e.g. temperature) and these changes can lead to meiotic failure and infertility.
Chris uses a combination of molecular biology and cytogenetics to understand how meiosis has evolved to overcome some of these genomic and habitat-associated challenges in the model autotetraploid plant species Arabidopsis arenosa.