Our telomeres shorten with age. Epidemiological studies suggested that telomere length has an inverted correlation with fertility.
In fact, telomere shortening or dysfunction causes meiotic defects, but the meiotic roles of telomeres remain elusive. In the early meiotic prophase, telomeres attach to the nuclear membrane and migrate toward a limited area of the nuclear envelope, often near the centrosome or spindle pole body (SPB), to form a so-called ‘chromosomal bouquet’ or ‘telomere bouquet’.
This well-conserved bouquet configuration is crucial for progression of meiosis in many eukaryotes. My original studies revealed crucial roles of the telomere bouquet in controlling the SPB and timely exit from the meiotic recombination stage in fission yeast. In this proposal, we will look into the mechanisms of telomere interaction and dissociation from the well-conserved SUN domain protein, Sad1, in fission yeast.
We have identified the key residue within Sad1 for bouquet formation and successfully generated the corresponding sad1 mutant strain. Using this strain and available tools, the candidate will explore the role of Sad1-telomere interaction.
We will address how the telomere-binding region of Sad1 contributes to meiosis. We are looking for candidates who have master-level qualifications with research experience in the field of molecular biology, cell biology or biochemistry. The successful candidate will also have basic knowledge in molecular biology, genetic and fluorescence microscope, and will demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.