Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The fine-scale distribution of meiotic recombination events in the human genome can be inferred from patterns of haplotype diversity in human populations but directly studied only by high-resolution sperm typing. Both approaches indicate that crossovers are heavily clustered into narrow recombination hot spots. But our direct understanding of hot-spot properties and distributions is largely limited to sperm typing in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). We now describe the analysis of an unremarkable 206-kb region on human chromosome 1, which identified localized regions of linkage disequilibrium breakdown that mark the locations of sperm crossover hot spots. The distribution, intensity and morphology of these hot spots are markedly similar to those in the MHC. But we also accidentally detected additional hot spots in regions of strong association. Coalescent analysis of genotype data detected most of the hot spots but showed significant differences between sperm crossover frequencies and historical recombination rates. This raises the possibility that some hot spots, particularly those in regions of strong association, may have evolved very recently and not left their full imprint on haplotype diversity. These results suggest that hot spots could be very abundant and possibly fluid features of the human genome.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Genet

Publication Date





601 - 606


Chromosomes, Human, Pair 1, Crossing Over, Genetic, Genotype, Humans, Linkage Disequilibrium, Male, Meiosis, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Recombination, Genetic, Spermatozoa