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Biased Gene Conversion and its Impact on Human Genome Evolution

  1. Nicolas Galtier1,
  2. Laurent Duret2

Published Online: 14 MAR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020834



How to Cite

Galtier, N. and Duret, L. 2008. Biased Gene Conversion and its Impact on Human Genome Evolution. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Université Montpellier, Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution, Montpellier, France

  2. 2

    Université Lyon, Biométrie & Biologie Evolutive, Villeurbanne, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 MAR 2008

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (16 JUN 2014)


Gene conversion between the maternal and paternal alleles occurs during meiosis as part of the complex molecular process of homologous recombination. Consequently, the transmission of alleles can be non-Mendelian for loci located near recombination initiation sites. A large body of evidence suggests that such events of meiotic gene conversion are GC-biased: AT/GC heterozygotes produce an elevated proportion of GC gametes, resulting in an evolutionary advantage for GC over AT alleles. This neutral biased gene conversion (BGC) process has surprisingly strong consequences on the evolution of genomic landscapes in human.


  • recombination;
  • GC-content;
  • isochores;
  • substitution rate;
  • DNA repair