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Unraveling recombination rate evolution using ancestral recombination maps

, : Unraveling recombination rate evolution using ancestral recombination maps. Bioessays 36(9): 892-900

Recombination maps of ancestral species can be constructed from comparative analyses of genomes from closely related species, exemplified by a recently published map of the human-chimpanzee ancestor. Such maps resolve differences in recombination rate between species into changes along individual branches in the speciation tree, and allow identification of associated changes in the genomic sequences. We describe how coalescent hidden Markov models are able to call individual recombination events in ancestral species through inference of incomplete lineage sorting along a genomic alignment. In the great apes, speciation events are sufficiently close in time that a map can be inferred for the ancestral species at each internal branch - allowing evolution of recombination rate to be tracked over evolutionary time scales from speciation event to speciation event. We see this approach as a way of characterizing the evolution of recombination rate and the genomic properties that influence it.


PMID: 25043668

DOI: 10.1002/bies.201400047

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