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Obtaining an accurate measure of how recombination rates vary across the genome has implications for understanding the molecular basis of recombination, its evolutionary significance and the distribution of linkage disequilibrium in natural populations. Although measuring the recombination rate is experimentally challenging, good estimates can be obtained by applying population-genetic methods to DNA sequences taken from natural populations. Statistical methods are now providing insights into the nature and scale of variation in the recombination rate, particularly in humans. Such knowledge will become increasingly important owing to the growing use of population-genetic methods in biomedical research.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Rev Genet

Publication Date





959 - 968


Genetics, Population, Humans, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Recombination, Genetic