During meiosis, homologous chromosomes pair up and are held together by the synaptonemal complex (SC), whose disassembly (desynapsis) is crucial for correct chromosome segregation and ensures haploidy in the resulting gametes. Aurora kinase (AURK) has been previously implicated in the regulation of desynapsis, for example in budding yeast. In their research article (Wellard et al., 2020), Philip W. Jordan and colleagues now investigate the role of the mammalian AURKs (AURKA, AURKB and AURKC) during desynapsis in human and mouse spermatocytes. Using specific inhibitors for each of the AURKs, the authors demonstrate that AURKB and AURKC are responsible for the disassembly of the lateral elements of the SC and thus desynapsis. Single knockout of either AURKB or AURKC did not disrupt normal spermatogenesis, suggesting that they can compensate for each other. However, double knockout of AURKB and AURKC affected spermatogenesis at several levels, which was attributed to the failure to disassemble the lateral elements of the SC. Among the observed effects in the AURKB- and AURKC-knockout mice were chromosome missegregation, cytokinesis failure and reduced fertility. Overall, these new insights into the role of AURKB and AURKC during spermatogenesis add to our understanding of how AURKs contribute to fertility and pave the way for future studies of AURK function in gametogenesis.