Melissa Ann Wilson Sayres, Pooja Narang
Natural selection reduces neutral population genetic diversity near coding regions of the genome because recombination has not had time to unlink selected alleles from nearby neutral regions. For ten sub-species of great apes, including human, we show that long-term selection affects estimates of divergence on the X differently from the autosomes. Divergence increases with increasing distance from genes on both the X chromosome and autosomes, but increases faster on the X chromosome than autosomes, resulting in increasing ratios of X/A divergence in putatively neutral regions. Similarly, divergence is reduced more on the X chromosome in neutral regions near conserved regulatory elements than on the autosomes. Consequently estimates of male mutation bias, which rely on comparing neutral divergence between the X and autosomes, are twice as high in neutral regions near genes versus far from genes. Our results suggest filters for putatively neutral genomic regions differ between the X and autosomes.