Stable recombination hotspots in birds
Singhal S., Leffler EM., Sannareddy K., Turner I., Venn O., Hooper DM., Strand AI., Li Q., Raney B., Balakrishnan CN., Griffith SC., McVean G., Przeworski M.
Recombination: The birds and the yeast Apes and mice have a specific gene, PRDM9 , that is associated with genomic regions with high rates of recombination, called hotspots. In species with PRDM9 , hotspots move rapidly within the genome, varying among populations and closely related species (see the Perspective by Lichten). To investigate recombination hotspots in species lacking PRDM9 , Singhal et al. examined bird genomes, which lack a PRDM9 gene. They looked closely at the genomes of finch species and found that recombination was localized to the promoter regions of genes and highly conserved over millions of years. Similarly, Lam and Keeney examined recombination localization within yeast, which also lacks PRDM9 . They found a similar more-or-less fixed pattern of hotspots. Thus, recombination in species lacking a PRDM9 gene shows similar patterns of hotspot localization and evolution. Science , this issue p. 913 , p. 928 ; see also p. 932