CE02 - Milieux et biodiversité : Terre vivante

Evolution of recombination under partial selfing – SelfRecomb

Evolution of recombination under partial selfing

Current hypotheses on the benefits of sexual recombination are based on the idea that the net effect of recombination is to break negative genetic association between loci. Further, under partial selfing, the evolution of recombination is mainly driven by the effects of correlations in homozygosity between loci.

Explaining the evolution of recombination rates

In this project we have three main goals: 1) to develop analytical and simulation models exploring how partial selfing affects the evolution of recombination; 2) to perform experimental evolution to measure selection on recombination modifiers under partial selfing; 3) to measure the fitness variance components that may explain selection on recombination modifiers during experimental evolution.

theoretical biology: analytical and numerical simulation approaches to the study of selection and genetic drift on a recombination modifier.
experimental evolution: genetic map length construction of recombination modifier in C. elegans, genotyping and whole genome sequencing during experimental evolution in a novel environment.

We have so far derived a population with standing genetic variation introgressed with a mutant recombination modifier should be of interest to other researchers wishing to test evolutionary theory on recombination. This population is readily available for distribution. Our theoretical analysis of selection for recombination due to interference among mutations in finite diploid, randomly mating populations shows that the strength of selection for recombination can often be approximated by a simple expression of the deleterious mutation rate per chromosome, chromosome map length and effective population size, and only weakly depends on the details of genetic architecture of fitness.

We will detect and explain selection for recombination


Empirical and theoretical results suggest that the reproductive system of organisms has important effects on the evolution of recombination. In this project we will extend existing deterministic analytical models on the evolution of recombination under partial selfing, and develop new ones to include genetic drift and selection on quantitative traits. In parallel, we will perform experimental evolution in Caenorhabditis elegans where the fate of a recombination modifier mutant will be followed under different levels of partial selfing. We will then characterize the genetic components of fitness distributions in these populations in order to integrate our experimental results with the theoretical findings. This is a project in fundamental research that will uniquely harness the theoretical and experimental expertise of the two partners, and will provide insights into a neglected topic in evolutionary biology, despite its importance for natural populations.

Project coordinator

Monsieur Henrique Teotonio (ECOLE NORMALE SUPERIEURE)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


EBEA Evolutionary Biology and Ecology of Algae

Help of the ANR 449,976 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: February 2019 - 48 Months

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