Recombination: the good, the bad and the variable

Stapley, Jessica; Feulner, Philine; Johnston, Susan E.; Santure, Anna W.; Smadja, Carole M. (2017). Recombination: the good, the bad and the variable. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society. Series B - biological sciences, 372(1736) Royal Society of London 10.1098/rstb.2017.0279

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Recombination, the process by which DNA strands are broken and repaired, producing new combinations of alleles, occurs in nearly all multicellular organisms and has important implications for many evolutionary processes. The effects of recombination can be good , as it can facilitate adaptation, but also bad when it breaks apart beneficial combinations of alleles, and recom- bination is highly variable between taxa, species, individuals and across the genome. Understanding how and why recombination rate varies is a major challenge in biology. Most theoretical and empirical work has been devoted to understanding the role of recombination in the evolution of sex—comparing between sexual and asexual species or populations. How recombination rate evolves and what impact this has on evolutionary processes within sexually reproducing organisms has received much less attention. This Theme Issue focusses on how and why recombination rate varies in sexual species, and aims to coalesce knowledge of the molecular mechanisms governing recombination with our understanding of the evolutionary processes driving variation in recombination within and between species. By integrating these fields, we can identify important knowledge gaps and areas for future research, and pave the way for a more comprehensive understanding of how and why recombination rate varies.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Aquatic Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Feulner, Philine


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




Royal Society of London




Marcel Häsler

Date Deposited:

13 Dec 2017 07:57

Last Modified:

25 Oct 2019 14:09

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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