The recombination landscape in Arabidopsis thaliana F2 populations

Heredity (Edinb). 2012 Apr;108(4):447-55. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2011.95. Epub 2011 Nov 9.


Recombination during meiosis shapes the complement of alleles segregating in the progeny of hybrids, and has important consequences for phenotypic variation. We examined allele frequencies, as well as crossover (XO) locations and frequencies in over 7000 plants from 17 F(2) populations derived from crosses between 18 Arabidopsis thaliana accessions. We observed segregation distortion between parental alleles in over half of our populations. The potential causes of distortion include variation in seed dormancy and lethal epistatic interactions. Such a high occurrence of distortion was only detected here because of the large sample size of each population and the number of populations characterized. Most plants carry only one or two XOs per chromosome pair, and therefore inherit very large, non-recombined genomic fragments from each parent. Recombination frequencies vary between populations but consistently increase adjacent to the centromeres. Importantly, recombination rates do not correlate with whole-genome sequence differences between parental accessions, suggesting that sequence diversity within A. thaliana does not normally reach levels that are high enough to exert a major influence on the formation of XOs. A global knowledge of the patterns of recombination in F(2) populations is crucial to better understand the segregation of phenotypic traits in hybrids, in the laboratory or in the wild.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Crossing Over, Genetic / genetics
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genotype
  • Phenotype*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Recombination, Genetic / genetics*