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We compared fine-scale recombination rates at orthologous loci in humans and chimpanzees by analyzing polymorphism data in both species. Strong statistical evidence for hotspots of recombination was obtained in both species. Despite approximately 99% identity at the level of DNA sequence, however, recombination hotspots were found rarely (if at all) at the same positions in the two species, and no correlation was observed in estimates of fine-scale recombination rates. Thus, local patterns of recombination rate have evolved rapidly, in a manner disproportionate to the change in DNA sequence.

Original publication




Journal article


Science (New York, N.Y.)

Publication Date





107 - 111


Department of Molecular Biology and Center for Human Genetic Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114-2622, USA.


Chromosomes, Mammalian, Chromosomes, Human, Animals, Humans, Pan troglodytes, Globins, HLA Antigens, Monte Carlo Method, Markov Chains, Chromosome Mapping, Evolution, Molecular, Recombination, Genetic, Base Sequence, Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid, Genotype, Haplotypes, Linkage Disequilibrium, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Alleles, Genome, Genome, Human