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Similarity in Recombination Rate Estimates Highly Correlates with Genetic Differentiation in Humans

By Hafid Laayouni, Ludovica Montanucci, Martin Sikora, Marta Melé, Giovanni Marco Dall'Olio, Belén Lorente-Galdos, Kate M. McGee, Jan Graffelman, Philip Awadalla, Elena Bosch, David Comas, Arcadi Navarro, Francesc Calafell, Ferran Casals and Jaume Bertranpetit


Recombination varies greatly among species, as illustrated by the poor conservation of the recombination landscape between humans and chimpanzees. Thus, shorter evolutionary time frames are needed to understand the evolution of recombination. Here, we analyze its recent evolution in humans. We calculated the recombination rates between adjacent pairs of 636,933 common single-nucleotide polymorphism loci in 28 worldwide human populations and analyzed them in relation to genetic distances between populations. We found a strong and highly significant correlation between similarity in the recombination rates corrected for effective population size and genetic differentiation between populations. This correlation is observed at the genome-wide level, but also for each chromosome and when genetic distances and recombination similarities are calculated independently from different parts of the genome. Moreover, and more relevant, this relationship is robustly maintained when considering presence/absence of recombination hotspots. Simulations show that this correlation cannot be explained by biases in the inference of recombination rates caused by haplotype sharing among similar populations. This result indicates a rapid pace of evolution of recombination, within the time span of differentiation of modern humans

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Public Library of Science
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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