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Nat Genet. 2005 Apr;37(4):429-34. Epub 2005 Feb 18.

Fine-scale recombination patterns differ between chimpanzees and humans.

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Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6 04103, Leipzig, Germany.

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  • Nat Genet. 2005 Apr;37(4):445.


Recombination rates seem to vary extensively along the human genome. Pedigree analysis suggests that rates vary by an order of magnitude when measured at the megabase scale, and at a finer scale, sperm typing studies point to the existence of recombination hotspots. These are short regions (1-2 kb) in which recombination rates are 10-1,000 times higher than the background rate. Less is known about how recombination rates change over time. Here we determined to what degree recombination rates are conserved among closely related species by estimating recombination rates from 14 Mb of linkage disequilibrium data in central chimpanzee and human populations. The results suggest that recombination hotspots are not conserved between the two species and that recombination rates in larger (50 kb) genomic regions are only weakly conserved. Therefore, the recombination landscape has changed markedly between the two species.

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