Unpaired genes do not silence their paired neighbors.
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During meiotic chromosome pairing, a loop of unpaired DNA induces the silencing of all paired and unpaired homologous DNA via meiotic silencing, an RNA-mediated post-transcriptional gene-silencing mechanism. To test the effect of unpaired DNA on adjacent genes, we constructed strains containing the DNA of a transformation marker integrated immediately downstream of the Ascospore maturation-1 ( Asm-1) gene and tested whether this unpaired DNA silences asm-1(+). We conclude that unpaired downstream DNA has no effect on Asm-1 expression during meiosis or ascospore development, which suggests that the silencing signal produced by unpaired DNA does not propagate onto adjacent paired regions.