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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Fine-scale mapping of meiotic recombination in Asians

Thomas Bleazard12, Young Seok Ju1, Joohon Sung13 and Jeong-Sun Seo14*

Author affiliations

1 Genomic Medicine Institute (GMI), Medical Research Center, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea

2 College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea

3 Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Institute of Environment and Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea

4 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea

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Citation and License

BMC Genetics 2013, 14:19  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-14-19

Published: 8 March 2013



Meiotic recombination causes a shuffling of homologous chromosomes as they are passed from parents to children. Finding the genomic locations where these crossovers occur is important for genetic association studies, understanding population genetic variation, and predicting disease-causing structural rearrangements. There have been several reports that recombination hotspot usage differs between human populations. But while fine-scale genetic maps exist for European and African populations, none have been constructed for Asians.


Here we present the first Asian genetic map with resolution high enough to reveal hotspot usage. We constructed this map by applying a hidden Markov model to genotype data for over 500,000 single nucleotide polymorphism markers from Korean and Mongolian pedigrees which include 980 meioses. We identified 32,922 crossovers with a precision rate of 99%, 97% sensitivity, and a median resolution of 105,949 bp. For direct comparison of genetic maps between ethnic groups, we also constructed a map for CEPH families using identical methods. We found high levels of concordance with known hotspots, with approximately 72% of recombination occurring in these regions. We investigated the hypothesized contribution of recombination problems to age-related aneuploidy. Our large sample size allowed us to detect a weak but significant negative effect of maternal age on recombination rate.


We have constructed the first fine-scale Asian genetic map. This fills an important gap in the understanding of recombination pattern variation and will be a valuable resource for future research in population genetics. Our map will improve the accuracy of linkage studies and inform the design of genome-wide association studies in the Asian population.

Recombination; Hotspot; Asian; Genetic map