Interplay of interlocus gene conversion and crossover in segmental duplications under a neutral scenario.
Interlocus gene conversion is a major evolutionary force that drives the concerted evolution of duplicated genomic regions. Theoretical models successfully have addressed the effects of interlocus gene conversion and the importance of crossover in the evolutionary fate of gene families and duplications but have not considered complex recombination scenarios, such as the presence of hotspots. To study the interplay between interlocus gene conversion and crossover, we have developed a forward-time simulator that allows the exploration of a wide range of interlocus gene conversion rates under different crossover models. Using it, we have analyzed patterns of nucleotide variation and linkage disequilibrium within and between duplicate regions, focusing on a neutral scenario with constant population size and validating our results with the existing theoretical models. We show that the interaction of gene conversion and crossover is nontrivial and that the location of crossover junctions is a fundamental determinant of levels of variation and linkage disequilibrium in duplicated regions. We also show that if crossover activity between duplications is strong enough, recurrent interlocus gene conversion events can break linkage disequilibrium within duplicates. Given the complex nature of interlocus gene conversion and crossover, we provide a framework to explore their interplay to help increase knowledge on molecular evolution within segmental duplications under more complex scenarios, such as demographic changes or natural selection.
Institute of Evolutionary Biology (Universitat Pompeu Fabra - CSIC), PRBB, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, 08003. Institute of Evolutionary Biology (Universitat Pompeu Fabra - CSIC), PRBB, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, 08003 National Institute for Bioinformatics (INB), Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, 08003 firstname.lastname@example.org.