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EMBO J. 1996 Apr;15(7):1715-25
The genomic stability of the rDNA tandem array in yeast is tightly controlled to allow sequence homogenization and at the same time prevent deleterious rearrangements. In our study, we show that gene conversion, and not unequal sister chromatid exchange, is the predominant recombination mechanism regulating the expansion and contraction of the rDNA array. Furthermore, we found that RAD52, which is essential for gene conversion, is required for marker duplication stimulated in the absence of the two yeast type I topoisomerases. Our results have implications for the mechanisms regulating genomic stability of repetitive sequence families found in all eukaryotes.