Distinguished Speaker Series: Open question in recombination detectability

Prof. Jotun Hein, Department of Statistics, University of Oxford

25 April 2022, 14:00 
Room 222, Britannia building, Life Sciences Faculty, TAU 
Distinguished Speaker Series

You are cordially invited to the lecture
of the IAS Distinguished Scholar

Held jointly with the Edmond J. Safra Center for Bioinformatics


Professor Jotun Hein

Department of Statistics, University of Oxford

The lecture will be held on Thursday 25 April 2022 at 14:00, Room 222, Britannia Building (Life Sciences)



Abstract: Recombination is a powerful evolutionary process that shapes the genetic diversity
observed in the populations of many species. Reconstructing genealogies in the
presence of recombination from sequencing data is a very challenging problem,
as this relies on mutations having occurred on the correct lineages in order to
detect the recombination and resolve the placement of edges in the local trees.
We investigate the probability of recovering the true topology of ancestral
recombination graphs (ARGs) under the coalescent with recombination and
gene conversion. We explore how sample size and mutation rate affect the
inherent uncertainty in reconstructed ARGs; this sheds light on the theoretical
limitations of ARG reconstruction methods. We illustrate our results using
estimates of evolutionary rates for several biological organisms; in particular,
we find that for parameter values that are realistic for SARS-CoV-2, the
probability of reconstructing genealogies that are close to the truth is low.


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