Long-term Sabbatical

The role of crossing-over and recombination in adaptive evolution

PI(s): Malcolm Schug (University of North Carolina-Greensboro)
Start Date: 1-Sep-2007
End Date: 31-May-2008
Keywords: recombination, genomics, gene structure and function, evolutionary theory

Crossing over that results in the rearrangement of alleles on chromosomes (recombination) is a major mechanisms generating evolutionary diversity. The explosion of biotechnology during the past two decades has generated large amounts of genome sequence data and genetic maps for many organisms. It has become clear from such data that the frequency with which recombination occurs in genomes varies widely among different species, and the patterns of recombination vary significantly along the length of chromosomes within species. The proposed study will synthesize the evolutionary theories predicting why recombination rates vary among species and test the prediction that recombination rates themselves are an evolving unit subject to adaptive evolution. The study will use data mined from genome sequencing databases, genetic maps, and newly developed computational tools to identify rapidly evolving genes focusing on humans and model organisms such as Drosophila.

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  • Evolution of mating isolation between populations of Drosophila ananassae Schug, Malcolm D., J.F. Baines, A. Killon, Atwood, S. Muhanty, A. Das, S.G. Smith, S., Zargham, S.McEvey, W. Stephan. (2008). Evolution of mating isolation between populations of Drosophila ananassae. Molecular Ecology, 17(11), 2706-2721. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2008.03770.x