Monique Zetka

Associate Professor
Monique Zetka
Contact Information

Stewart Biology Building, Room S3/24
Temporarily relocated to the Pulp & Paper Institute, 3420 University

Email address: 
monique.zetka [at]
Research areas: 
Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Areas of expertise: 

Proper chromosome morphogenesis is required for the faithful segregation of chromosomes during meiosis and can be readily studied in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The research goals of my laboratory are to investigate the function and regulation of meiotic chromosome organization using a combination of genetics, molecular biology, and high-resolution cytogenetics.

Current research: 

In the Zetka lab, we seek to answer fundamental questions about meiosis using the Caenorhabditis elegans. This nematode is widely used as an animal model, owing to its amenability to genetic manipulation and cytological analysis, as well as a rapid life cycle and easy maintenance. These qualities, together with a distinctive gonad organization in which germline nuclei are arranged in an ordered spatio-temporal pattern of sequential meiotic stages, make C. elegans an excellent model for the investigation of the meiotic cell cycle.

Our Goal is to understand the intricate choreography of meiotic events, including homologous chromosome pairing, crossing over, and accurate segregation that ultimately results in the generation of euploid gametes. Our primary focus is to use classical genetic analysis to identify novel components in these pathways and dissect their function. In addition, we aim to illuminate how these processes are initiated, regulated, and coordinated in the C. elegans germline by employing a catalogue of molecular, cytological, and biochemical tools.

Selected publications: 


  • Nguyen H., Labella S., Silva N., Jantsch V., Zetka M. (2018). C. elegans ZHP-4 is required at multiple distinct steps in the formation od crossovers and their transition to segregation competent chiasmata. PLoS Genetics. 14(10):e1007776.
  • Link J., Paouneskou D., Velkova M., Daryabeigi A., Laos T., Labella S., Barroso C., Pacheco Piñol S., Montoya A., Kramer H., Woglar A., Baudrimont A., Markert S.M., Stigloher C., Martinez-Perez E., Dammermann A., Alsheimer M., Zetka M., Jantsch V. (2018). Transient and partial nuclear lamina disruption promotes chromosome movement in early meiotic prophase. Developmental Cell. 45(2):212-225.


  • Vujin A., and M. Zetka (2017) . The proteasome enters the meiotic prophase fray. BioEssays 39(7) doi: 10.1002/bies.201700038.
  • Zetka, M. (2017) When degradation spurs segregation. Science, 355, 349-350.


  • Machovina, T., Mainpal, R., Daryabeigi, A., McGovern O., Paouneskou, D., Labella, S., Zetka M., Jantsch, V. and J. Yanowitz (2016) A surveillance system ensures crossover formation in C. elegans. Current Biology 26, 2873-84.

Older Publications


  • Amini, R., Goupil E., Labella S., Zetka M., Maddox, A.S., Labbé, J.C. and N.T. Chartier (2014). C. elegans Anillin proteins regulate intercellular bridge stability and germline syncytial organization. Journal of Cell Biology, 206(1): 129-43.


  • Bukhari, S.I.A., Vasquez-Rifo, A., Gagné, D., Paquet, E.R., Zetka, M., Robert, C., Masson, J.Y. and M.J. Simard (2012) The microRNA pathway controls germ cells proliferation and differentiation in C. elegans. Cell Research, 6: 1034-45.


  • Labella, S., Woglar, A., Jantsch, V. and M. Zetka (2011) Polo kinases establish links between meiotic chromosomes and cytoskeletal forces essential for homologue pairing. Developmental Cell, 21: 948-958.
  • Couteau, F. and M. Zetka (2011) DNA damage during meiosis induces chromatin remodelling and synaptonemal complex disassembly. Developmental Cell, 20: 353-363.


  • Goodyer, W., Kaitna, S., Couteau, F., Ward, J.D., Boulton, S.J., and Zetka, M. (2008) HTP-3 links DSB formation with homolog pairing and crossing over during C. elegans meiosis. Developmental Cell, 14:263-274.


  • Gilchirst, E.J., O’Neil, N.J., Rose, A.M., Zetka, M.C., and Haughn, G.W. (2006) TILLING is an effective reverse genetics technique for Caenorhabiditis elegans. BMC Genomics, 7.


  • Couteau, F., and M. Zetka (2005) HTP-1 coordinates synaptonemal complex assembly with homolog alignment during meiosis in C. elegans. Genes and Development, 19: 2744-2756.


  • Couteau, F., Nabeshima K., Villeneuve A & Zetka, M. (2004) A Component of C. elegans Meiotic Chromosome Axes at the Interface of Homolog Alignment, Synapsis, Nuclear Reorganization, and Recombination. Current Biology, 14(7): 585-592.
  • Couteau, F., Goodyer, W. & Zetka, M. (2004) Finding and Keeping Your Partner During Meiosis. Cell Cycle, 3(8), 1014-1016.


  • Roggo, L., Bernard, V., Kovacs, A.L., Savoy, F., Zetka, M., Rose, A., Wymann, M.P. & Müller, F. (2002) Membrane transport in Caenorhabditis elegans: an essential role for VPS34 at the nuclear membrane. European Molecular Biology Organization Journal, 21(7): 1673-1683.
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