Navigation Links
Zooming in on genetic shuffling
Date:7/10/2008

Genetic recombination, the process by which sexually reproducing organisms shuffle their genetic material when producing germ cells, leads to offspring with a new genetic make-up and influences the course of evolution. In the current issue of Nature, researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, and the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) in Hinxton, UK, present the most precise map of genetic recombination yet. The study sheds light on fundamental questions about genetic shuffling and has implications for the tracking of disease genes and their inheritance.

In order to generate germ cells, sexually reproducing organisms undergo a complex series of cell divisions (meiosis) that includes the shuffling of genetic material inherited from the two parents. Equivalent chromosomes from mother and father pair up and exchange sections of DNA in a process called crossover. In a different type of recombination, called non-crossover, a small piece of DNA is copied from one chromosome onto the other without reciprocal exchange leading to gene conversion. Non-crossovers are minute events with a subtler effect than the exchange of larger fragments, but both types of recombination can increase genetic diversity and explain why organisms of the same species differ in many ways. Both types of recombination can also act to separate the transmission of neighbouring genes, which are normally inherited together.

The groups of Lars Steinmetz at EMBL and Wolfgang Huber at EMBL-EBI have produced the most detailed map to date of recombination events in the yeast genome.

"Our map has the highest resolution of recombination events that currently exists for any organism. We can locate crossovers and even hard-to-trace non-crossovers, typically with a precision of about 80 bases. This resolution is 20 times higher than in any existing yeast map and more than 360 times higher than a recent human map," says Steinmetz.

The map revealed many new insights into the organisation of recombination in yeast. On average over 150 recombination events were observed during a typical meiosis. These events did not occur uniformly across the genome. The recombination rate varied according to location, with events concentrated at so-called hotspots, some of which favoured either crossovers or non-crossovers. The researchers also found evidence for interference between crossovers and non-crossovers - a phenomenon previously only known to occur between crossovers - that makes it unlikely for two recombination events to happen in close proximity.

The fundamental principles of recombination are likely to be shared between yeast and humans. "Our map expands our understanding of crossover and provides a wealth of new information about non-crossovers and gene conversion. It will act as a reference for future research into recombination," says Richard Bourgon from Huber's group, who developed the statistical methodology for this new type of data.

The insights gained will not only help tackle questions about the basic mechanisms of recombination; they will also have practical implications for the tracking of disease genes in humans.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anna-Lynn Wegener
wegener@embl.de
49-622-138-7452
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News reports on novel hit-to-lead drug discovery
2. HapMap browsing and DDDP methods for genetic analysis featured in CSH Protocols
3. Political participation is partially rooted in genetic inheritance
4. International team identifies 21 new genetic risk factors for Crohns disease
5. Why do people vote? Genetic variation in political participation
6. Automated microfluidic device reduces time to screen small organisms for genetic studies
7. Drug reverses mental retardation caused by genetic disorder
8. Perspective: Policies must keep pace with genetic progress
9. Known genetic risk for Alzheimers in whites also places blacks at risk
10. Scientists confirm that parts of earliest genetic material may have come from the stars
11. Spradling receives Gruber Foundation Genetics Prize for new genetic techniques
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/4/2016)... 4, 2016 The field of Human ... the most popular hubs of the biotechnology industry. ... huge studies of human microbiota, have garnered a ... the microbiome space has literally exploded in terms ... This report focuses on biomedical aspects of research, ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... February 3, 2016 --> ... research report "Automated Fingerprint Identification System Market by Component ... Application (Banking & Finance, Government, Healthcare, and Transportation) and ... the market is expected to be worth USD 8.49 ... between 2015 and 2020. The transformation and technology evolution ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... 3, 2016 ... the "Emotion Detection and Recognition Market ... Others), Software Tools (Facial Expression, Voice Recognition ... Regions - Global forecast to 2020" ... http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/d8zjcd/emotion_detection ) has announced the addition ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... Non-profit Consortium Aims to Generate Genomic ... Research and Discovery --> --> ... plan to sequence 100,000 individuals. It is intended to initially ... 7 of North and East Asian countries. ... project will focus on creating phased reference genomes for all ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016  Bioethics International, a not-for-profit ... are researched, developed, marketed and made accessible to patients around ... Open had named the publication of the Good ... The publication is also featured as one of BMJ ... the last year that are most frequently read. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... SANTA CRUZ, Calif. , Feb. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... accepting applications to its beta program for a planned ... co-founder, will present the company,s metagenomic genome assembly method ... 2016 Advances in Genome Biology & Technology conference in ... novo  assembly of these highly complex datasets is difficult. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... medicine, has announced a new agreement with Bankok,Thailand-based Global Stem Cells Network (GSCN) ... phsyicians in 15 Latin American countries, including Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Colombia, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: