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Topological Data Analysis Generates High-Resolution, Genome-Wide Maps of Human Recombination
Pablo G. Camara, Daniel I. S. Rosenbloom, Kevin J. Emmett, Arnold J. Levine, Raul Rabadan
Meiotic recombination is a fundamental evolutionary process driving diversity in eukaryotes. In mammals, recombination is known to occur preferentially at specific genomic regions. Using topological data analysis (TDA), a branch of applied topology that extracts global features from large data sets, we developed an efficient method for mapping recombination at fine scales. When compared to standard linkage-based methods, TDA can deal with a larger number of SNPs and genomes without incurring prohibitive computational costs. We applied TDA to 1,000 Genomes Project data and constructed high-resolution whole-genome recombination maps of seven human populations. Our analysis shows that recombination is generally under-represented within transcription start sites. However, the binding sites of specific transcription factors are enriched for sites of recombination. These include transcription factors that regulate the expression of meiosis- and gametogenesis-specific genes, cell cycle progression, and differentiation blockage. Additionally, our analysis identifies an enrichment for sites of recombination at repeat-derived loci matched by piwi-interacting RNAs.