Genome-wide patterns of recombination, linkage disequilibrium and nucleotide diversity from pooled resequencing and single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping unlock the evolutionary history of Eucalyptus grandis

New Phytol. 2015 Nov;208(3):830-45. doi: 10.1111/nph.13505. Epub 2015 Jun 16.


We used high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data and whole-genome pooled resequencing to examine the landscape of population recombination (ρ) and nucleotide diversity (ϴw ), assess the extent of linkage disequilibrium (r(2) ) and build the highest density linkage maps for Eucalyptus. At the genome-wide level, linkage disequilibrium (LD) decayed within c. 4-6 kb, slower than previously reported from candidate gene studies, but showing considerable variation from absence to complete LD up to 50 kb. A sharp decrease in the estimate of ρ was seen when going from short to genome-wide inter-SNP distances, highlighting the dependence of this parameter on the scale of observation adopted. Recombination was correlated with nucleotide diversity, gene density and distance from the centromere, with hotspots of recombination enriched for genes involved in chemical reactions and pathways of the normal metabolic processes. The high nucleotide diversity (ϴw = 0.022) of E. grandis revealed that mutation is more important than recombination in shaping its genomic diversity (ρ/ϴw = 0.645). Chromosome-wide ancestral recombination graphs allowed us to date the split of E. grandis (1.7-4.8 million yr ago) and identify a scenario for the recent demographic history of the species. Our results have considerable practical importance to Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS), while indicating bright prospects for genomic prediction of complex phenotypes in eucalypt breeding.

Keywords: Eucalyptus; ancestral recombination graphs; effective population size; linkage disequilibrium (LD); mutation rate; nucleotide diversity; population recombination rate; whole-genome pooled resequencing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Eucalyptus / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genome, Plant
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Genotyping Techniques
  • Linkage Disequilibrium*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Recombination, Genetic*