[S17] Evolutionary causes and consequences of variation in recombination rate
Recombination is paradoxical, it can create novel genetic combinations that natural selection can act on, and thus facilitate adaptation, but it can also break apart favourable combinations of alleles. In addition, recombination can play a critical role during meiosis, with recombination events regulated to ensure accurate segregation of chromosomes. Thus, tight regulation of recombination is expected, but variable rates of recombination may be favoured in different environments or contexts. While the role of recombination in the evolution of sex has been the focus of much empirical and theoretical work, investigation on how conflicting selection pressures are resolved, how recombination rate evolves, and what impact this has on evolutionary processes within sexually reproducing organisms has received less attention. Recent advances in DNA sequencing and bioinformatics has provided unprecedented opportunities to characterise variation in recombination rate. Now is a pertinent time to highlight (i) rapidly developing approaches to estimate recombination rate in the genomics era and (ii) our growing understanding of the causes and consequences of variation in recombination rates; including how recombination rate variation responds to selection, how recombination varies between individuals, sexes, populations, species and in response to the environment, and how recombination influences the processes of speciation and adaptation.
Organizers: Susan Johnston, Anna Santure, Jessica Stapley
Invited speakers: Abraham Korol, Irene Tiemann-Boege