The Recombination Landscape in Wild House Mice Inferred Using Population Genomic Data

Genetics. 2017 Sep;207(1):297-309. doi: 10.1534/genetics.117.300063. Epub 2017 Jul 27.


Characterizing variation in the rate of recombination across the genome is important for understanding several evolutionary processes. Previous analysis of the recombination landscape in laboratory mice has revealed that the different subspecies have different suites of recombination hotspots. It is unknown, however, whether hotspots identified in laboratory strains reflect the hotspot diversity of natural populations or whether broad-scale variation in the rate of recombination is conserved between subspecies. In this study, we constructed fine-scale recombination rate maps for a natural population of the Eastern house mouse, Mus musculus castaneus We performed simulations to assess the accuracy of recombination rate inference in the presence of phase errors, and we used a novel approach to quantify phase error. The spatial distribution of recombination events is strongly positively correlated between our castaneus map, and a map constructed using inbred lines derived predominantly from M. m. domesticus Recombination hotspots in wild castaneus show little overlap, however, with the locations of double-strand breaks in wild-derived house mouse strains. Finally, we also find that genetic diversity in M. m. castaneus is positively correlated with the rate of recombination, consistent with pervasive natural selection operating in the genome. Our study suggests that recombination rate variation is conserved at broad scales between house mouse subspecies, but it is not strongly conserved at fine scales.

Keywords: Mus musculus; population genomics; recombination; wild Mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosomes / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genome*
  • Male
  • Mice / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Selection, Genetic