Abstract / Description of output
Recombination can occur either as a result of crossover or gene conversion events. Population genetic methods for inferring the rate of recombination from patterns of linkage disequilibrium generally assume a simple model of recombination that only involves crossover events and ignore gene conversion. However, distinguishing the two processes is not only necessary for a complete description of recombination, but also essential for understanding the evolutionary consequences of inversions and other genomic partitions in which crossover (but not gene conversion) is reduced. We present heRho, a simple composite likelihood scheme for co-estimating the rate of crossover and gene conversion from individual diploid genomes. The method is based on analytic results for the distance-dependent probability of heterozygous and homozygous states at two loci. We apply heRho to simulations and data from the house mouse Mus musculus castaneus, a well studied model. Our analyses show i) that the rates of crossover and gene conversion can be accurately co-estimated at the level of individual chromosomes and ii) that previous estimates of the population scaled rate of recombination Embedded Image under a pure crossover model are likely biased.