Variability of Recombination Rates in Higher Plants

  • Elisabeth Esch
  • Renate Horn
Part of the Progress in Botany book series (BOTANY, volume 69)

Recombination and chiasma frequency, like other features of meiosis, are subject to various genetic control mechanisms. Here, we give an overview of the genetic and environmental factors as well as the genomic structures that play a role for the variability of recombination rates in plant genomes. Suppressed or greatly reduced recombination is observed in chromosomal regions that contain repetitive sequences such as e.g. centromeres, pericentromeric and telomeric regions as well as between sex chromosomes. DNA recombination plays a major role in genome evolution and crop improvement. To estimate the variability of recombination rates, both genetic and physical distances are required (measured in centiMorgans and usually kilobases, respectively) and so far, these data are only available for a limited number of model species. Progress in whole genome sequencing project in the coming years will allow further analyses of more species and a comparison of recombination rates and their variability between different species. Additional molecular studies of recombination in plants are necessary to improve our understanding of the genetic mechanisms behind the variability of recombination rates in plant genomes that is far from being comprehensive.


Recombination Rate Synaptonemal Complex Recombination Frequency Meiotic Recombination Chiasma Frequency 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabeth Esch
    • 1
  • Renate Horn
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für PflanzengenetikUniversität HannoverHannoverGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Biowissenschaften, Abtl. PflanzengenetikUniversität RostockRostockGermany

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