RMI1 and TOP3α limit meiotic CO formation through their C-terminal domains.
At meiosis, hundreds of programmed DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) form and are repaired by homologous recombination. From this large number of DSBs, only a subset yields crossovers (COs), with a minimum of one CO per chromosome pair. All DSBs must be repaired and every recombination intermediate must be resolved to avoid subsequent entanglement and chromosome breakage. The conserved BLM-TOP3α-RMI1 (BTR) complex acts on early and late meiotic recombination intermediates to both limit CO outcome and promote chromosome integrity. In Arabidopsis, the BLM homologues RECQ4A and RECQ4B act redundantly to prevent meiotic extra COs, but recombination intermediates are fully resolved in their absence. In contrast, TOP3α is needed for both processes. Here we show through the characterization of specific mutants that RMI1 is a major anti-CO factor, in addition to being essential to prevent chromosome breakage and entanglement. Further, our findings suggest a specific role of the C-terminal domains of RMI1 and TOP3α, that respectively contain an Oligo Binding domain (OB2) and ZINC finger motifs, in preventing extra-CO. We propose that these domains of TOP3α and RMI1 define a sub-domain of the BTR complex which is dispensable for the resolution of recombination intermediates but crucial to limit extra-COs.