The relationship of recombination rate, genome structure, and patterns of molecular evolution across angiosperms

BMC Evolutionary Biology
George P TileyGordon Burleigh


Although homologous recombination affects the efficacy of selection in populations, the pattern of recombination rate evolution and its effects on genome evolution across plants are largely unknown. Recombination can reduce genome size by enabling the removal of LTR retrotransposons, alter codon usage by GC biased gene conversion, contribute to complex histories of gene duplication and loss through tandem duplication, and enhance purifying selection on genes. Therefore, variation in recombination rate across species may explain some of the variation in genomic architecture as well as rates of molecular evolution. We used phylogenetic comparative methods to investigate the evolution of global meiotic recombination rate in angiosperms and its effects on genome architecture and selection at the molecular level using genetic maps and genome sequences from thirty angiosperm species. Recombination rate is negatively correlated with genome size, which is likely caused by the removal of LTR retrotransposons. After correcting recombination rates for euchromatin content, we also found an association between global recombination rate and average gene family size. This suggests a role for recombination in the preservation of duplicate gene...Continue Reading


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Methods Mentioned


Software Mentioned

Perl scripts
R package metacor
R package picante
R package pwr

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