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On the Effect of Fluctuating Recombination Rates on the Decorrelation of Gene Histories in the Human Genome

Authors
Journal
Genetics
0016-6731
Publisher
The Genetics Society of America
Publication Date
Volume
169
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1534/genetics.103.018002
Keywords
  • Notes

Abstract

We show how to incorporate fluctuations of the recombination rate along the chromosome into standard gene-genealogical models for the decorrelation of gene histories. This enables us to determine how small-scale fluctuations (Poissonian hot-spot model) and large-scale variations (Kong et al. 2002) of the recombination rate influence this decorrelation. We find that the empirically determined large-scale variations of the recombination rate give rise to a significantly slower decay of correlations compared to the standard, unstructured gene-genealogical model assuming constant recombination rate. A model with long-range recombination-rate variations and with demographic structure (divergent population) is found to be consistent with the empirically observed slow decorrelation of gene histories. Conversely, we show that small-scale recombination-rate fluctuations do not alter the large-scale decorrelation of gene histories.

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