Meiotic recombination rate varies across the genome within and between individuals, populations, and species in virtually all taxa studied. In almost every species, this variation takes the form of discrete recombination hotspots, determined in some mammals by a protein called PRDM9. Hotspots and their determinants have a profound effect on the genomic landscape, and share certain features that extend across the tree of life. Drosophila, in contrast, are anomalous in their absence of hotspots, PRDM9, and other species-specific differences in the determination of recombination. To better understand the evolution of meiosis and general patterns of recombination across diverse taxa, we present a truly comprehensive portrait of recombination across time, combining recently published cross-based contemporary recombination estimates from each of two sister species with newly obtained linkage-disequilibrium-based historic estimates of recombination from both of these species. Using Drosophila pseudoobscura and Drosophila miranda as a model system, we compare recombination rate between species at multiple scales, and we suggest that Drosophila replicate the pattern seen in human–chimpanzee in which recombination rate is conserved at broad scales. We also find evidence of a species-wide recombination modifier(s), resulting in both a present and historic genome-wide elevation of recombination rates in D. miranda, and identify broad scale effects on recombination from the presence of an inversion. Finally, we reveal an unprecedented view of the distribution of recombination in D. pseudoobscura, illustrating patterns of linked selection and where recombination is taking place. Overall, by combining these estimation approaches, we highlight key similarities and differences in recombination between Drosophila and other organisms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Linkage disequilibrium