Jackson researchers describe current understanding of genetic recombination

Date: March 3, 2010
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In an invited report in the journal Nature Reviews Genetics, Jackson Laboratory Professor Ken Paigen, Ph.D., and Research Scientist Petko Petkov, Ph.D., describe the current state of scientific understanding of genetic recombination.

"Recombination, together with mutation, generates the raw material of evolution, is essential for reproduction and lies at the heart of all genetic analysis," Drs. Paigen and Petkov write. "Recent advances in our ability to construct genome-scale, high-resolution recombination maps and new molecular techniques for analyzing recombination products have substantially furthered our understanding of this important biological phenomenon in humans and mice: from describing the properties of recombination hot spots in male and female meiosis to the recombination landscape along chromosomes."

Recently, Drs. Paigen, Petkov and collaborators published a paper in Science Translational Medicine on their discovery of a protein, PDRM9, that turns certain locations on chromosomes into "hotspots" of recombination activity during reproduction.

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Paigen et al.: Mammalian recombination hot spots: properties, control and evolution. Nature Reviews Genetics, March 2010, doi:10.1038/nrg2712.

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