Non-crossover gene conversions show strong GC bias and unexpected clustering in humans
Williams AL., Genovese G., Dyer T., Altemose N., Truax K., Jun G., Patterson N., Myers SR., Curran JE., Duggirala R., Blangero J., Reich D., Przeworski M.
<jats:p>Although the past decade has seen tremendous progress in our understanding of fine-scale recombination, little is known about non-crossover (NCO) gene conversion. We report the first genome-wide study of NCO events in humans. Using SNP array data from 98 meioses, we identified 103 sites affected by NCO, of which 50/52 were confirmed in sequence data. Overlap with double strand break (DSB) hotspots indicates that most of the events are likely of meiotic origin. We estimate that a site is involved in a NCO at a rate of 5.9 × 10−6/bp/generation, consistent with sperm-typing studies, and infer that tract lengths span at least an order of magnitude. Observed NCO events show strong allelic bias at heterozygous AT/GC SNPs, with 68% (58–78%) transmitting GC alleles (p = 5 × 10−4). Strikingly, in 4 of 15 regions with resequencing data, multiple disjoint NCO tracts cluster in close proximity (∼20–30 kb), a phenomenon not previously seen in mammals.</jats:p>