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Cilia regulate meiotic recombination in zebrafish
Haibo Xie1,2,3,† , Xiaosi Wang2,† , Minjun Jin1,4 , Lanqin Li1,4 , Junwen Zhu2,5 , Yunsi Kang1,4 , Zhe Chen1 , Yonghua Sun2,5,* , Chengtian Zhao1,3,4,*
1Institute of Evolution & Marine Biodiversity, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, China
2State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Innovation Academy for Seed Design, Hubei Hongshan Laboratory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China
3Laboratory for Marine Biology and Biotechnology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266003, China
4Sars-Fang Centre, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Marine Genetics and Breeding, College of Marine Life Sciences, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, China
5College of Advanced Agricultural Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*Correspondence to:Yonghua Sun , Chengtian Zhao ,
J Mol Cell Biol, Volume 14, Issue 7, July 2022, mjac049,
Keyword: cilia, meiosis, homologous recombination, kif3a, zebrafish

Meiosis is essential for evolution and genetic diversity in almost all sexual eukaryotic organisms. The mechanisms of meiotic recombination, such as synapsis, have been extensively investigated. However, it is still unclear whether signals from the cytoplasm or even from outside of the cell can regulate the meiosis process. Cilia are microtubule-based structures that protrude from the cell surface and function as signaling hubs to sense extracellular signals. Here, we reported an unexpected and critical role of cilia during meiotic recombination. During gametogenesis of zebrafish, cilia were specifically present in the prophase stages of both primary spermatocytes and primary oocytes. By developing a germ cell-specific CRISPR/Cas9 system, we demonstrated that germ cell-specific depletion of ciliary genes resulted in compromised double-strand break repair, reduced crossover formation, and increased germ cell apoptosis. Our study reveals a previously undiscovered role for cilia during meiosis and suggests that extracellular signals may regulate meiotic recombination via this particular organelle.