gene conversion


Summary: The asymmetrical segregation of genes during replication which leads to the production of non-reciprocal recombinant strands and the apparent conversion of one allele into another. Thus, e.g., the meiotic products of an Aa individual may be AAAa or aaaA instead of AAaa, i.e., the A allele has been converted into the a allele or vice versa.

Top Publications

  1. Lartillot N. Phylogenetic patterns of GC-biased gene conversion in placental mammals and the evolutionary dynamics of recombination landscapes. Mol Biol Evol. 2013;30:489-502 pubmed publisher
    GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC) is a major evolutionary force shaping genomic nucleotide landscapes, distorting the estimation of the strength of selection, and having potentially deleterious effects on genome-wide fitness...
  2. Gay J, Myers S, McVean G. Estimating meiotic gene conversion rates from population genetic data. Genetics. 2007;177:881-94 pubmed
    b>Gene conversion plays an important part in shaping genetic diversity in populations, yet estimating the rate at which it occurs is difficult because of the short lengths of DNA involved...
  3. Kulathinal R, Bennett S, Fitzpatrick C, Noor M. Fine-scale mapping of recombination rate in Drosophila refines its correlation to diversity and divergence. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008;105:10051-6 pubmed publisher
    ..We propose that it is not cross-overs per se that are mutagenic, but rather repair of DNA double-strand break precursors via crossing over and gene conversion.
  4. Wallis O, Wallis M. Evolution of growth hormone in primates: the GH gene clusters of the New World monkeys marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) and white-fronted capuchin (Cebus albifrons). J Mol Evol. 2006;63:591-601 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus even among NWMs the GH gene cluster is very variable...
  5. Kim H, Cross G. TOPO3alpha influences antigenic variation by monitoring expression-site-associated VSG switching in Trypanosoma brucei. PLoS Pathog. 2010;6:e1000992 pubmed publisher
    ..It is believed that the majority of VSG switching events occur by duplicative gene conversion, but only a few DNA repair genes that are central to HR have been assigned a role in this process...
  6. Hicks W, Kim M, Haber J. Increased mutagenesis and unique mutation signature associated with mitotic gene conversion. Science. 2010;329:82-5 pubmed publisher
    ..the fidelity of DNA synthesis during double-strand break (DSB) repair in Saccharomyces cerevisiae we studied gene conversion in which both strands of DNA are newly synthesized...
  7. Connallon T, Clark A. Gene duplication, gene conversion and the evolution of the Y chromosome. Genetics. 2010;186:277-86 pubmed publisher
    ..However, gene duplication, coupled with gene conversion between duplicate pairs, can potentially counteract forces of evolutionary decay that accompany asexual ..
  8. Chaves L, Faile G, Krueth S, Hendrickson J, Reed K. Haplotype variation, recombination, and gene conversion within the turkey MHC-B locus. Immunogenetics. 2010;62:465-77 pubmed publisher
    ..Examination of pedigreed families provides direct evidence of gene conversion and recombination within the B locus...
  9. Lee P, Petes T. From the Cover: mitotic gene conversion events induced in G1-synchronized yeast cells by gamma rays are similar to spontaneous conversion events. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010;107:7383-8 pubmed publisher
    ..About three-quarters of the crossovers were associated with gene conversion tracts...

More Information


  1. Carson A, Scherer S. Identifying concerted evolution and gene conversion in mammalian gene pairs lasting over 100 million years. BMC Evol Biol. 2009;9:156 pubmed publisher
    ..Here we identify human gene pairs that have undergone concerted evolution, caused by ongoing gene conversion, since at least the human-mouse divergence...
  2. Duret L, Galtier N. Comment on "Human-specific gain of function in a developmental enhancer". Science. 2009;323:714; author reply 714 pubmed publisher
    ..However, the pattern of substitution in HACNS1 is more consistent with the neutral process of biased gene conversion (BGC)...
  3. Zhu Z, Chung W, Shim E, Lee S, Ira G. Sgs1 helicase and two nucleases Dna2 and Exo1 resect DNA double-strand break ends. Cell. 2008;134:981-94 pubmed publisher
    ..generate, in a stepwise manner, only few hundred nucleotides of ssDNA at the break, resulting in inefficient gene conversion and G2/M damage checkpoint arrest...
  4. Frank M, KIRKMAN L, Costantini D, Sanyal S, Lavazec C, Templeton T, et al. Frequent recombination events generate diversity within the multi-copy variant antigen gene families of Plasmodium falciparum. Int J Parasitol. 2008;38:1099-109 pubmed publisher
    ..falciparum. ..
  5. Xu S, Clark T, Zheng H, Vang S, Li R, Wong G, et al. Gene conversion in the rice genome. BMC Genomics. 2008;9:93 pubmed publisher
    b>Gene conversion causes a non-reciprocal transfer of genetic information between similar sequences. Gene conversion can both homogenize genes and recruit point mutations thereby shaping the evolution of multigene families...
  6. Longerich S, Orelli B, Martin R, Bishop D, Storb U. Brca1 in immunoglobulin gene conversion and somatic hypermutation. DNA Repair (Amst). 2008;7:253-66 pubmed
    ..genomic deletion, Ig somatic hypermutation that introduces point mutations in Ig V-regions, Ig gene conversion in vertebrates that possess Ig pseudo-V genes, and translocations common to B cell lymphomas...
  7. Al Minawi A, Saleh Gohari N, Helleday T. The ERCC1/XPF endonuclease is required for efficient single-strand annealing and gene conversion in mammalian cells. Nucleic Acids Res. 2008;36:1-9 pubmed
    ..Interestingly, we also report an unexpected role for ERCC1 in gene conversion. This provides support that gene conversion in mammalian somatic cells is carried out through synthesis-..
  8. Pessia E, Popa A, Mousset S, Rezvoy C, Duret L, Marais G. Evidence for widespread GC-biased gene conversion in eukaryotes. Genome Biol Evol. 2012;4:675-82 pubmed publisher
    GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC) is a process that tends to increase the GC content of recombining DNA over evolutionary time and is thought to explain the evolution of GC content in mammals and yeasts...
  9. Sarbajna S, Denniff M, Jeffreys A, Neumann R, Soler Artigas M, Veselis A, et al. A major recombination hotspot in the XqYq pseudoautosomal region gives new insight into processing of human gene conversion events. Hum Mol Genet. 2012;21:2029-38 pubmed publisher
    Recombination plays a fundamental role in meiosis. Non-exchange gene conversion (non-crossover, NCO) may facilitate homologue pairing, while reciprocal crossover (CO) physically connects homologues so they orientate appropriately on the ..
  10. Mansai S, Innan H. The power of the methods for detecting interlocus gene conversion. Genetics. 2010;184:517-27 pubmed publisher
    Interlocus gene conversion can homogenize DNA sequences of duplicated regions with high homology. Such nonvertical events sometimes cause a misleading evolutionary interpretation of data when the effect of gene conversion is ignored...
  11. Amos W. Heterozygosity and mutation rate: evidence for an interaction and its implications: the potential for meiotic gene conversions to influence both mutation rate and distribution. Bioessays. 2010;32:82-90 pubmed publisher
    ..I then consider the likely implications, focusing particularly on how these processes might affect microsatellites, concluding that heterozygosity does impact on the rate and distribution of mutations. ..
  12. Hao W. OrgConv: detection of gene conversion using consensus sequences and its application in plant mitochondrial and chloroplast homologs. BMC Bioinformatics. 2010;11:114 pubmed publisher
    ..Detection of gene conversion between mitochondrial and chloroplast homologs was previously impossible due to the lack of suitable computer ..
  13. Kostka D, Hubisz M, Siepel A, Pollard K. The role of GC-biased gene conversion in shaping the fastest evolving regions of the human genome. Mol Biol Evol. 2012;29:1047-57 pubmed publisher
    GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC) is a recombination-associated evolutionary process that accelerates the fixation of guanine or cytosine alleles, regardless of their effects on fitness...
  14. Shi J, Wolf S, Burke J, Presting G, Ross Ibarra J, Dawe R. Widespread gene conversion in centromere cores. PLoS Biol. 2010;8:e1000327 pubmed publisher
    ..Although classical crossing over is fully suppressed across CENH3 domains, two gene conversion events (i.e., non-crossover marker exchanges) were identified in a mapping population...
  15. Smith D, Kayal E, Yanagihara A, Collins A, Pirro S, Keeling P. First complete mitochondrial genome sequence from a box jellyfish reveals a highly fragmented linear architecture and insights into telomere evolution. Genome Biol Evol. 2012;4:52-8 pubmed publisher
    ..most extreme case being 150 nt of a ribosomal RNA containing the 5' end of nad2), providing evidence for a gene conversion-based model of telomere evolution. The silent-site nucleotide variation within the A...
  16. Sun W, Nandi S, Osman F, Ahn J, Jakovleska J, Lorenz A, et al. The FANCM ortholog Fml1 promotes recombination at stalled replication forks and limits crossing over during DNA double-strand break repair. Mol Cell. 2008;32:118-28 pubmed publisher
    ..We show that Fml1 has at least two roles in homologous recombination-it promotes Rad51-dependent gene conversion at stalled/blocked replication forks and limits crossing over during mitotic double-strand break repair...
  17. Palmer G, Brayton K. Gene conversion is a convergent strategy for pathogen antigenic variation. Trends Parasitol. 2007;23:408-13 pubmed
    ..pathogens, Anaplasma marginale, Borrelia hermsii and Trypanosoma brucei, illustrate the central importance of gene conversion as a mechanism for antigenic variation, which results in subsequent evasion of the immune response and ..
  18. Loewe L, Charlesworth B. Background selection in single genes may explain patterns of codon bias. Genetics. 2007;175:1381-93 pubmed
    ..It may also help to cause the observed effects of gene length and introns on codon usage. Gene conversion plays a crucial role in determining the sizes of these effects...
  19. Barton A, Pekosz M, Kurvathi R, Kaback D. Meiotic recombination at the ends of chromosomes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics. 2008;179:1221-35 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, the distribution of crossovers in S. cerevisiae appears to resemble that found in several higher eukaryotes where the outermost chromosomal regions show increased crossing over. ..
  20. Lydeard J, Jain S, Yamaguchi M, Haber J. Break-induced replication and telomerase-independent telomere maintenance require Pol32. Nature. 2007;448:820-3 pubmed
    ..HO-induced gene conversion, in which both ends of a double-strand break engage in homologous recombination, does not require Pol32...
  21. Cummings W, Yabuki M, Ordinario E, Bednarski D, Quay S, Maizels N. Chromatin structure regulates gene conversion. PLoS Biol. 2007;5:e246 pubmed
    ..In DT40, immunoglobulin genes undergo regulated sequence diversification by gene conversion templated by pseudogene donors...
  22. Marais G, Campos P, Gordo I. Can intra-Y gene conversion oppose the degeneration of the human Y chromosome? A simulation study. Genome Biol Evol. 2010;2:347-57 pubmed publisher
    ..of the remaining human Y genes are in large duplicated segments (ampliconic regions) undergoing intense Y-Y gene conversion. It has been suggested that Y-Y gene conversion may help these genes getting rid of deleterious mutations ..
  23. Kothapalli N, Norton D, Fugmann S. Cutting edge: a cis-acting DNA element targets AID-mediated sequence diversification to the chicken Ig light chain gene locus. J Immunol. 2008;180:2019-23 pubmed
    Somatic hypermutation and gene conversion are two closely related processes that increase the diversity of the primary Ig repertoire...
  24. Harrison R, Charlesworth B. Biased gene conversion affects patterns of codon usage and amino acid usage in the Saccharomyces sensu stricto group of yeasts. Mol Biol Evol. 2011;28:117-29 pubmed publisher
    ..Here we show that an additional neutral process, GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC), plays a part in shaping patterns of both synonymous codon usage and amino acid composition in a ..
  25. Tang E, Martin A. Immunoglobulin gene conversion: synthesizing antibody diversification and DNA repair. DNA Repair (Amst). 2007;6:1557-71 pubmed
    ..Immunoglobulin gene conversion (IGC) is one of these mechanisms and is used by a number of vertebrate species in both the development of the ..
  26. Sudmant P, Kitzman J, Antonacci F, Alkan C, Malig M, Tsalenko A, et al. Diversity of human copy number variation and multicopy genes. Science. 2010;330:641-6 pubmed publisher
    ..with brain development, reveal extensive population genetic diversity, and detect signatures consistent with gene conversion in the human species. Our approach makes ~1000 genes accessible to genetic studies of disease association.
  27. Soejima M, Fujihara J, Takeshita H, Koda Y. Sec1-FUT2-Sec1 hybrid allele generated by interlocus gene conversion. Transfusion. 2008;48:488-92 pubmed
    ..FUT2-specific region (between positions 417 and 470) and that might have been generated by an interlocus gene conversion. Because the recombination region of se(fus) and the upstream recombination region of Sec1-FUT2-Sec1 are ..
  28. Rosser Z, Balaresque P, Jobling M. Gene conversion between the X chromosome and the male-specific region of the Y chromosome at a translocation hotspot. Am J Hum Genet. 2009;85:130-4 pubmed publisher
    ..b>Gene conversion might accompany recombination intermediates that resolve without translocation and persist in the population...
  29. Meisel R. Evolutionary dynamics of recently duplicated genes: Selective constraints on diverging paralogs in the Drosophila pseudoobscura genome. J Mol Evol. 2009;69:81-93 pubmed publisher
    ..Paralogs located in closer proximity have higher sequence identity. This suggests that gene conversion occurs more often between duplications in close proximity or that there is more genetic independence between ..
  30. Lawson M, Zhang L. Sexy gene conversions: locating gene conversions on the X-chromosome. Nucleic Acids Res. 2009;37:4570-9 pubmed publisher
    b>Gene conversion can have a profound impact on both the short- and long-term evolution of genes and genomes...
  31. Arakawa H. Immunoglobulin gene conversion and hypermutation assay by FACs. Subcell Biochem. 2006;40:351-2 pubmed
    Immunoglobulin (Ig) gene conversion and hypermutation rates can be quantified by FACS. The spontaneous DT40 variant, C118, and C118-derived DT40 mutants can be used to analyze gene conversion phenotype...
  32. Osada N, Innan H. Duplication and gene conversion in the Drosophila melanogaster genome. PLoS Genet. 2008;4:e1000305 pubmed publisher
    ..melanogaster subgroup, the pattern of gene duplications was investigated with special attention to interlocus gene conversion. Our fine-scale analysis with careful visual inspections enabled accurate identification of a number of ..
  33. Storz J, Baze M, Waite J, Hoffmann F, Opazo J, Hayes J. Complex signatures of selection and gene conversion in the duplicated globin genes of house mice. Genetics. 2007;177:481-500 pubmed
    ..Interparalog gene conversion on the Hbbs haplotype has produced a highly unusual situation in which the two paralogs are more similar to ..
  34. Cromie G, Hyppa R, Smith G. The fission yeast BLM homolog Rqh1 promotes meiotic recombination. Genetics. 2008;179:1157-67 pubmed publisher
    ..These observations underscore the multiple recombination functions of RecQ homologs and emphasize that even conserved proteins can be adapted to play different roles in different organisms. ..
  35. Lin W, Hashimoto S, Seo H, Shibata T, Ohta K. Modulation of immunoglobulin gene conversion frequency and distribution by the histone deacetylase HDAC2 in chicken DT40. Genes Cells. 2008;13:255-68 pubmed publisher
    ..We have previously demonstrated that Ig gene conversion in the B cell line DT40 is accompanied by the local hyperacetylation of histones, and that its frequency is ..
  36. Samarakoon U, Regier A, Tan A, Desany B, Collins B, Tan J, et al. High-throughput 454 resequencing for allele discovery and recombination mapping in Plasmodium falciparum. BMC Genomics. 2011;12:116 pubmed publisher
    ..This study is the first to resequence progeny clones to examine fine structure of COs and NCOs in malaria parasites. ..
  37. Escobar J, Glemin S, Galtier N. GC-biased gene conversion impacts ribosomal DNA evolution in vertebrates, angiosperms, and other eukaryotes. Mol Biol Evol. 2011;28:2561-75 pubmed publisher
    ..The multiples copies of rDNA in the genome evolve in a concerted manner, through unequal crossing over and/or gene conversion, two mechanisms related to homologous recombination...
  38. Muyle A, Serres Giardi L, Ressayre A, Escobar J, Glemin S. GC-biased gene conversion and selection affect GC content in the Oryza genus (rice). Mol Biol Evol. 2011;28:2695-706 pubmed publisher
    ..Although mutational bias and selection have initially been invoked, more recently GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC) has been proposed to play a central role in shaping nucleotide landscapes, especially in yeast, ..
  39. Stevison L, Noor M. Genetic and evolutionary correlates of fine-scale recombination rate variation in Drosophila persimilis. J Mol Evol. 2010;71:332-45 pubmed publisher
    ..we found significant correlations between recombination rate and GC content, supporting both GC-biased gene conversion (BGC) models and selection-driven codon bias models...
  40. Padhukasahasram B, Wall J, Marjoram P, Nordborg M. Estimating recombination rates from single-nucleotide polymorphisms using summary statistics. Genetics. 2006;174:1517-28 pubmed
    ..We used our method to analyze a human data set recently genotyped by Perlegen Sciences. ..
  41. Chandramouly G, Kwok A, Huang B, Willis N, Xie A, Scully R. BRCA1 and CtIP suppress long-tract gene conversion between sister chromatids. Nat Commun. 2013;4:2404 pubmed publisher homologous recombination events, controlling the balance between short- (STGC) and long-tract gene conversion (LTGC) between sister chromatids...
  42. Glemin S. Surprising fitness consequences of GC-biased gene conversion: I. Mutation load and inbreeding depression. Genetics. 2010;185:939-59 pubmed publisher
    GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC) is a recombination-associated process mimicking selection in favor of G and C alleles. It is increasingly recognized as a widespread force in shaping the genomic nucleotide landscape...
  43. Qi J, Wijeratne A, Tomsho L, Hu Y, Schuster S, Ma H. Characterization of meiotic crossovers and gene conversion by whole-genome sequencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. BMC Genomics. 2009;10:475 pubmed publisher
    ..We show that a large fraction of the COs are accompanied by gene conversion (GC), indicating that meiotic recombination changes allelic frequencies, in addition to redistributing ..
  44. Hao W, Palmer J. Fine-scale mergers of chloroplast and mitochondrial genes create functional, transcompartmentally chimeric mitochondrial genes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:16728-33 pubmed publisher
    ..We developed a novel computational approach to search for homologous recombination (gene conversion) in a large number of sequences and applied it to 22 mitochondrial and chloroplast gene pairs, which last ..
  45. Innan H. Population genetic models of duplicated genes. Genetica. 2009;137:19-37 pubmed publisher
    ..Because of increasing evidence for concerted evolution by gene conversion, this review introduces recently developed gene conversion models...
  46. Jain S, Sugawara N, Lydeard J, Vaze M, Tanguy Le Gac N, Haber J. A recombination execution checkpoint regulates the choice of homologous recombination pathway during DNA double-strand break repair. Genes Dev. 2009;23:291-303 pubmed publisher
    A DNA double-strand break (DSB) is repaired by gene conversion (GC) if both ends of the DSB share homology with an intact DNA sequence...
  47. Nakahara M, Sonoda E, Nojima K, Sale J, Takenaka K, Kikuchi K, et al. Genetic evidence for single-strand lesions initiating Nbs1-dependent homologous recombination in diversification of Ig v in chicken B lymphocytes. PLoS Genet. 2009;5:e1000356 pubmed publisher
    ..Chicken B lymphocytes diversify their Immunoglobulin (Ig) V genes through HR (Ig gene conversion) and non-templated hypermutation...
  48. Galtier N, Duret L. Adaptation or biased gene conversion? Extending the null hypothesis of molecular evolution. Trends Genet. 2007;23:273-7 pubmed
    ..accelerated rate of evolution might be due to factors other than natural selection, in particular GC-biased gene conversion. This is true of neutral sequences, but also of constrained sequences, which can be illustrated using the ..
  49. Coop G, Myers S. Live hot, die young: transmission distortion in recombination hotspots. PLoS Genet. 2007;3:e35 pubmed
    ..For example, hotspot locations are not shared between human and chimpanzee. Biased gene conversion in favor of alleles that locally disrupt hotspots is a possible explanation of the short lifespan of hotspots...
  50. Kohzaki M, Nishihara K, Hirota K, Sonoda E, Yoshimura M, Ekino S, et al. DNA polymerases nu and theta are required for efficient immunoglobulin V gene diversification in chicken. J Cell Biol. 2010;189:1117-27 pubmed publisher
    ..DNA synthesis-dependent point mutations (Ig hypermutation) and homologous recombination (HR)-dependent Ig gene conversion. The error-prone biochemical characteristic of the A family DNA polymerases Polnu and Pol led us to explore ..
  51. Yin J, Jordan M, Song Y. Joint estimation of gene conversion rates and mean conversion tract lengths from population SNP data. Bioinformatics. 2009;25:i231-9 pubmed publisher
    ..In particular, for a given population SNP dataset, the joint estimation of the crossover rate, the gene conversion rate and the mean conversion tract length is widely viewed as a very difficult problem...
  52. Buerstedde J, Arakawa H. Immunoglobulin gene conversion or hypermutation: that's the question. Subcell Biochem. 2006;40:11-24 pubmed
    Chicken B cells develop their primary immunoglobulin (Ig) gene repertoire by pseudogene templated gene conversion within the bursa of Fabricius...
  53. Woelk C, Frost S, Richman D, Higley P, Kosakovsky Pond S. Evolution of the interferon alpha gene family in eutherian mammals. Gene. 2007;397:38-50 pubmed
    ..Previous research has been unable to clarify whether gene conversion or recent gene duplication accounts for gene-specific clustering, partly because the similarity of members of ..