Characterization of human crossover interference

Am J Hum Genet. 2000 Jun;66(6):1911-26. doi: 10.1086/302923. Epub 2000 May 8.


We present an analysis of crossover interference over the entire human genome, on the basis of genotype data from more than 8,000 polymorphisms in eight CEPH families. Overwhelming evidence was found for strong positive crossover interference, with average strength lying between the levels of interference implied by the Kosambi and Carter-Falconer map functions. Five mathematical models of interference were evaluated: the gamma model and four versions of the count-location model. The gamma model fit the data far better than did any of the other four models. Analysis of intercrossover distances was greatly superior to the analysis of crossover counts, in both demonstrating interference and distinguishing between the five models. In contrast to earlier suggestions, interference was found to continue uninterrupted across the centromeres. No convincing differences in the levels of interference were found between the sexes or among chromosomes; however, we did detect possible individual variation in interference among the eight mothers. Finally, we present an equation that provides the probability of the occurrence of a double crossover between two nonrecombinant, informative polymorphisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Centromere / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Human / genetics
  • Crossing Over, Genetic / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Linkage / genetics*
  • Genetic Markers / genetics
  • Genome, Human
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meiosis / genetics
  • Models, Genetic
  • Pedigree
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*
  • Probability
  • Sex Characteristics
  • X Chromosome / genetics


  • Genetic Markers