A torrid zone on mouse chromosome 1 containing a cluster of recombinational hotspots.

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Genetics 2005 Feb; 169(2):833-41.


Within the 2.38-Mb Ath1 region of mouse chromosome 1, 42 of 45 genetic crossovers from crosses between C57BL/6J (B6) and either C3H/HeJ (H) or Mus spretus (SPRET) occurred in four zones (A-D); zone A, 100 kb long, contained a cluster of at least four recombination hotspots. F1 sperm assays indicate that within this "torrid zone" the most active hotspot (A3) can initiate recombination on H and SPRET but not B6 chromosomes. The A3 DNA sequence contains a (G/C)TTT repeat, long stretches of A or T, and a cyclic variation in AT content. Recombination was drastically reduced in a cross between B6 and a B6.SPRET Ath1 congenic strain, but was unaffected in a B6 x B6.H Ath1 congenic cross. Similar nonrandom clustering of hotspots has been observed in yeast and the major histocompatibility complexes of human and mouse. To the extent that torrid zones are a general feature of mammalian genomes, they have considerable implications for genetic mapping strategies in both human populations and mouse crosses.

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