A gene which encodes a type 2 topoisomerase (q.v.) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It was isolated as a sporulation mutant, hence the spo symbol. No meiotic recombination was observed in the mutant, although normal synaptonemal complexes (q.v.) appeared during meiotic prophase. The SPO 11 topoisomerase catalyzes meiosis-specific DNA double-strand breaks. The Drosophila mutant mei-W68 is a homolog of SPO 11. See Chronology, 1997, Keeney, Giroux, and Kleckner; double-strand break (DSB) formation, recombination nodules (RNs).
Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.