Fine-scale quantification of GC-biased gene conversion intensity in mammals

10.24072/pcjournal.22 - Peer Community Journal, Volume 1 (2021), article no. e17.

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GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC) is a molecular evolutionary force that favours GC over AT alleles irrespective of their fitness effect. Quantifying the variation in time and across genomes of its intensity is key to properly interpret patterns of molecular evolution. In particular, the existing literature is unclear regarding the relationship between gBGC strength and species effective population size, Ne. Here we analysed the nucleotide substitution pattern in coding sequences of closely related species of mammals, thus accessing a high resolution map of the intensity of gBGC. Our maximum likelihood approach shows that gBGC is pervasive, highly variable among species and genes, and of strength positively correlated with Ne in mammals. We estimate that gBGC explains up to 60% of the total amount of synonymous ATGC substitutions. We show that the fine-scale analysis of gBGC-induced nucleotide substitutions has the potential to inform on various aspects of molecular evolution, such as the distribution of fitness effects of mutations and the dynamics of recombination hotspots.

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DOI: 10.24072/pcjournal.22
Galtier, Nicolas 1

1 CNRS, Univ. Montpellier, UMR5554 – Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution, Montpellier, France.
License: CC-BY 4.0
Copyrights: The authors retain unrestricted copyrights and publishing rights
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Galtier, Nicolas. Fine-scale quantification of GC-biased gene conversion intensity in mammals. Peer Community Journal, Volume 1 (2021), article  no. e17. doi : 10.24072/pcjournal.22.

Peer reviewed and recommended by PCI : 10.24072/pci.genomics.100012

Conflict of interest of the recommender and peer reviewers:
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article.

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