A Pedigree-Based Map of Recombination in the Domestic Dog Genome

G3 (Bethesda). 2016 Nov 8;6(11):3517-3524. doi: 10.1534/g3.116.034678.


Meiotic recombination in mammals has been shown to largely cluster into hotspots, which are targeted by the chromatin modifier PRDM9. The canid family, including wolves and dogs, has undergone a series of disrupting mutations in this gene, rendering PRDM9 inactive. Given the importance of PRDM9, it is of great interest to learn how its absence in the dog genome affects patterns of recombination placement. We have used genotypes from domestic dog pedigrees to generate sex-specific genetic maps of recombination in this species. On a broad scale, we find that placement of recombination events in dogs is consistent with that in mice and apes, in that the majority of recombination occurs toward the telomeres in males, while female crossing over is more frequent and evenly spread along chromosomes. It has been previously suggested that dog recombination is more uniform in distribution than that of humans; however, we found that recombination in dogs is less uniform than in humans. We examined the distribution of recombination within the genome, and found that recombination is elevated immediately upstream of the transcription start site and around CpG islands, in agreement with previous studies, but that this effect is stronger in male dogs. We also found evidence for positive crossover interference influencing the spacing between recombination events in dogs, as has been observed in other species including humans and mice. Overall our data suggests that dogs have similar broad scale properties of recombination to humans, while fine scale recombination is similar to other species lacking PRDM9.

Keywords: PRDM9; canine genetics; crossover interference; hotspots; recombination.