Oct 29, 2010

Fine-scale recombination rate differences between sexes, populations and individuals

Augustine KongKari Stefansson


Meiotic recombinations contribute to genetic diversity by yielding new combinations of alleles. Recently, high-resolution recombination maps were inferred from high-density single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data using linkage disequilibrium (LD) patterns that capture historical recombination events. The use of these maps has been demonstrated by the identification of recombination hotspots and associated motifs, and the discovery that the PRDM9 gene affects the proportion of recombinations occurring at hotspots. However, these maps provide no information about individual or sex differences. Moreover, locus-specific demographic factors like natural selection can bias LD-based estimates of recombination rate. Existing genetic maps based on family data avoid these shortcomings, but their resolution is limited by relatively few meioses and a low density of markers. Here we used genome-wide SNP data from 15,257 parent-offspring pairs to construct the first recombination maps based on directly observed recombinations with a resolution that is effective down to 10 kilobases (kb). Comparing male and female maps reveals that about 15% of hotspots in one sex are specific to that sex. Although male recombinations result in more shuffli...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

PRDM9 gene
Dysequilibrium Syndrome
Genetics, Population
Recombination, Genetic
Chromosomes, Human
Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase
Sample Size

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