The evolution of recombination under domestication: a test of two hypotheses.
ABSTRACT The successful domestication of wild plants has been one of the most important human accomplishments of the last 10,000 yr. Though our empirical knowledge of the genetic mechanisms of plant domestication is still relatively limited, there exists a large body of theory that offers a host of hypotheses on the genetics of domestication. Two of these that have not been addressed concern the role of recombination in the process of domestication. The first predicts an increase in recombination rate through domestication, while the second argues that recombination rate should serve as a preadaptation to domestication. This study makes use of data on chiasma frequencies available from almost a century of plant cytogenetical literature to test these two hypotheses. The results support the hypothesis that domestication selects for an increase in recombination, and in rejecting the preadaptation hypothesis, they suggest directions for future research into the possibility of preadaptation to domestication.
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ABSTRACT: Recombination has essential functions in mammalian meiosis, which impose several constraints on the recombination process. However, recent studies have shown that, in spite of these roles, recombination rates vary tremendously among humans, and show marked differences between humans and closely related species. These findings provide important insights into the determinants of recombination rates and raise new questions about the selective pressures that affect recombination over different genomic scales, with implications for human genetics and evolutionary biology.Nature Reviews Genetics 02/2007; 8(1):23-34. · 38.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We use >250,000 cross-over events identified in >10,000 bovine sperm cells to perform an extensive characterization of meiotic recombination in male cattle. We map Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) influencing genome-wide recombination rate, genome-wide hotspot usage, and locus-specific recombination rate. We fine-map three QTL and present strong evidence that genetic variants in REC8 and RNF212 influence genome-wide recombination rate, while genetic variants in PRDM9 influence genome-wide hotspot usage.PLoS Genetics 07/2012; 8(7):e1002854. · 8.69 Impact Factor
Article: The contribution of recombination to heterozygosity differs among plant evolutionary lineages and life-forms.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Despite its role as a generator of haplotypic variation, little is known about how the rates of recombination evolve across taxa. Recombination is a very labile force, susceptible to evolutionary and life trait related processes, which have also been correlated with general levels of genetic diversity. For example, in plants, it has been shown that long-lived outcrossing taxa, such as trees, have higher heterozygosity (He) at SSRs and allozymes than selfing or annual species. However, some of these tree taxa have surprisingly low levels of nucleotide diversity at the DNA sequence level, which points to recombination as a potential generator of genetic diversity in these organisms. In this study, we examine how genome-wide and within-gene rates of recombination evolve across plant taxa, determine whether such rates are influenced by the life-form adopted by species, and evaluate if higher genome-wide rates of recombination translate into higher He values, especially in trees. Estimates of genome-wide (cM/Mb) recombination rates from 81 higher plants showed a significant phylogenetic signal. The use of different comparative phylogenetic models demonstrated that there is a positive correlation between recombination rate and He (0.83 +/- 0.29), and that trees have higher rates of genome-wide recombination than short-lived herbs and shrubs. A significant taxonomic component was further made evident by our models, as conifers exhibited lower recombination rates than angiosperms. This trend was also found at the within-gene level. Altogether, our results illustrate how both common ancestry and life-history traits have to be taken into account for understanding the evolution of genetic diversity and genomic rates of recombination across plant species, and highlight the relevance of species life forms to explain general levels of diversity and recombination.BMC Evolutionary Biology 01/2010; 10:22. · 3.52 Impact Factor