Recombination impacts damaging and disease mutation accumulation in human populations [article]

Julie Hussin, Alan Hodgkinson, Youssef Idaghdour, Jean-Christophe Grenier, Jean-Philippe Goulet, Elias Gbeha, Elodie Hip-Ki, Philip Awadalla
2014 bioRxiv   pre-print
MMany decades of theory have demonstrated that in non-recombining systems, slightly deleterious mutations accumulate non-reversibly1, potentially driving the extinction of many asexual species. Non-recombining chromosomes in sexual organisms are thought to have degenerated in a similar fashion2, however it is not clear the extent to which these processes operate along recombining chromosomes with highly variable rates of crossing over. Using high coverage sequencing data from over 1400
more » ... ls in The 1000 Genomes and CARTaGENE projects, we show that recombination rate modulates the genomic distribution of putatively deleterious variants across the entire human genome. We find that exons in regions of low recombination are significantly enriched for deleterious and disease variants, a signature that varies in strength across worldwide human populations with different demographic histories. As low recombining regions are enriched for highly conserved genes with essential cellular functions, and show an excess of mutations with demonstrated effect on health, this phenomenon likely affects disease susceptibility in humans.
doi:10.1101/006064 fatcat:qaus6pviafdrrbgsp6mur4ldxe