An evolutionary view of human recombination

Nat Rev Genet. 2007 Jan;8(1):23-34. doi: 10.1038/nrg1947. Epub 2006 Dec 5.


Recombination has essential functions in mammalian meiosis, which impose several constraints on the recombination process. However, recent studies have shown that, in spite of these roles, recombination rates vary tremendously among humans, and show marked differences between humans and closely related species. These findings provide important insights into the determinants of recombination rates and raise new questions about the selective pressures that affect recombination over different genomic scales, with implications for human genetics and evolutionary biology.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Crossing Over, Genetic
  • Female
  • Genome, Human
  • Humans
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Male
  • Mammals / genetics
  • Meiosis
  • Models, Genetic
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Species Specificity