A Fine-Scale Genetic Map for Vervet Monkeys

Susanne P. Pfeifer, Katja Nowick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Despite its important biological role, the evolution of recombination rates remains relatively poorly characterized. This owes, in part, to the lack of high-quality genomic resources to address this question across diverse species. Humans and our closest evolutionary relatives, anthropoid apes, have remained a major focus of large-scale sequencing efforts, and thus recombination rate variation has been comparatively well studied in this group - with earlier work revealing a conservation at the broad- but not the fine-scale. However, in order to better understand the nature of this variation, and the time scales on which substantial modifications occur, it is necessary to take a broader phylogenetic perspective. I here present the first fine-scale genetic map for vervet monkeys based on whole-genome population genetic data from ten individuals and perform a series of comparative analyses with the great apes. The results reveal a number of striking features. First, owing to strong positive correlations with diversity and weak negative correlations with divergence, analyses suggest a dominant role for purifying and background selection in shaping patterns of variation in this species. Second, results support a generally reduced broad-scale recombination rate compared with the great apes, as well as a narrower fraction of the genome in which the majority of recombination events are observed to occur. Taken together, this data set highlights the great necessity of future research to identify genomic features and quantify evolutionary processes that are driving these rate changes across primates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1855-1865
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular biology and evolution
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • African green monkey
  • genetic map
  • recombination
  • vervet monkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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