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Bioessays. 2006 Jan;28(1):45-56.

Molecular features of meiotic recombination hot spots.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India.


Meiotic recombination occurs preferentially at certain regions called hot spots and is important for generating genetic diversity and proper segregation of chromosomes during meiosis. Hot spots have been characterized most extensively in yeast, mice and humans. The development of methods based on sperm typing and population genetics has facilitated rapid and high-resolution mapping of hot spots in mice and humans in recent years. With increasing information becoming available on meiotic recombination in different species, it is now possible to compare several molecular features associated with hot-spot loci. Further, there have been advances in our knowledge of the factors influencing hot-spot activity and the role that they play in structuring the genome into haplotype blocks. We review the molecular features associated with hot spots in terms of their properties and mechanisms underlying their function and distribution. A large number of these features seem to be shared among hot spots from different species suggesting common mechanisms for their formation and function.

2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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