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Trends Ecol Evol. 2007 May;22(5):223-5. Epub 2007 Feb 12.

A short history of recombination in yeast.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27109, USA. zeylcw@wfu.edu


Despite it being the darling of fungal genomics, we know little about either the ecology or reproductive biology of the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, in nature. A recent study by Ruderfer et al. estimated that the ancestors of three S. cerevisiae genomes outcrossed approximately once every 50,000 generations, confirming the view that outcrossing is infrequent in natural populations of S. cerevisiae. This study also inferred the genomic positions of past recombination events. By comparing past recombination events with present-day recombination rates, this study lays the groundwork for determining whether recombination has improved the long-term survival of descendant lineages by bringing together favorable alleles, a longstanding question in evolutionary genetics.

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