Variation in Recombination Rate: Adaptive or Not?

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

Rates of meiotic recombination are widely variable both within and among species. However, the functional significance of this variation remains largely unknown. Is the observed within-species variation in recombination rate adaptive? Recent work has revealed new insight into the scale and scope of population-level variation in recombination rate. These data indicate that the magnitude of within-population variation in recombination is similar among taxa. The apparent similarity of the variance in recombination rate among individuals between distantly related species suggests that the relative costs and benefits of recombination that establish the upper and lower bounds may be similar across species. Here we review the current data on intraspecific variation in recombination rate and discuss the molecular and evolutionary costs and benefits of recombination frequency. We place this variation in the context of adaptation and highlight the need for more empirical studies focused on the adaptive value of variation in recombination rate.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ritz, KR; Noor, MAF; Singh, ND

Published Date

  • May 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 364 - 374

PubMed ID

  • 28359582

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0168-9525

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.tig.2017.03.003


  • eng