University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Genetics Seminar  > What drives the dependence of human germline mutation rates on sex, age, and time? 

What drives the dependence of human germline mutation rates on sex, age, and time? 

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Caroline Newnham.

Host: Richard Durbin

Germline mutation is the source of all heritable differences and therefore of fundamental importance. In mammals, we know from longstanding analyses of phylogenetic patterns on the X-chromosome and autosomes, and from recent studies of human pedigrees, that most mutations come from fathers, and more are transmitted from older parents than from younger ones. The textbook view is that these patterns reflect replication errors, as there are both more mutations and more cell divisions in the male than in the female germline. I will present multiple lines of evidence that call this view into question. I will argue instead that current data are best explained by a much larger role of maternal age and DNA damage in the genesis of germline mutations than previously appreciated, and draw implications for why mutation rates depend on sex and age and how they evolve over time.

This talk is part of the Genetics Seminar series.

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