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Background: Meiotic recombination events include crossovers and non-crossovers or gene conversions. Although the rate of crossovers is often used for genetic mapping, the gene conversion events are not well studied especially in outbred species, which could produce distorted markers and thus affect the precision of genetic maps. Results: We proposed a strategy for identifying gene conversion events in Populus with the next-generation sequencing (NGS) data from the two parents and their progeny in an F1 hybrid population. The strategy first involved phasing the heterozygous SNPs of the parents to obtain the parental haplotype blocks by NGS analytical tools, permitting to identify the parental gene conversion events with progeny genotypes. By incorporating available genetic linkage maps, longer haplotype blocks each corresponding to a chromosome can be created, not only allowing to detect crossover events but also possibly to locate a crossover in a small region. Our analysis revealed that gene conversions are more abundant than crossovers in Populus, with a higher probability to generate distorted markers in the regions involved than in the other regions on genome. The analytical procedures were implemented with Perl scripts as a freely available package, findGCO at https://github.com/tongchf/findGCO. Conclusions: The novel strategy and the new developed Perl package permit to identify gene conversion events with the next-generation sequencing technology in a hybrid population of outbred species. The new method revealed that in a genetic mapping population some distorted genetic markers are possibly due to the gene conversion events.
Tao, S., Wu, J., Yao, D., Chen, Y., Yang, W., & Tong, C. (2018). Identification of recombination events in outbred species with next-generation sequencing data. BMC Genomics, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-018-4791-x