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PLoS One. 2013 Aug 13;8(8):e71582. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071582. eCollection 2013.

How hot are drosophila hotspots? examining recombination rate variation and associations with nucleotide diversity, divergence, and maternal age in Drosophila pseudoobscura.

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Biology Department, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA.


Fine scale meiotic recombination maps have uncovered a large amount of variation in crossover rate across the genomes of many species, and such variation in mammalian and yeast genomes is concentrated to <5kb regions of highly elevated recombination rates (10-100x the background rate) called "hotspots." Drosophila exhibit substantial recombination rate heterogeneity across their genome, but evidence for these highly-localized hotspots is lacking. We assayed recombination across a 40Kb region of Drosophila pseudoobscura chromosome 2, with one 20kb interval assayed every 5Kb and the adjacent 20kb interval bisected into 10kb pieces. We found that recombination events across the 40kb stretch were relatively evenly distributed across each of the 5kb and 10kb intervals, rather than concentrated in a single 5kb region. This, in combination with other recent work, indicates that the recombination landscape of Drosophila may differ from the punctate recombination pattern observed in many mammals and yeast. Additionally, we found no correlation of average pairwise nucleotide diversity and divergence with recombination rate across the 20kb intervals, nor any effect of maternal age in weeks on recombination rate in our sample.

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