Beth Dumont

About Beth Dumont, Ph.D.

Mutation, recombination, and chromosome assortment account for all genetic diversity in nature, ranging from variants associated with disease to adaptive genetic changes. Despite their fundamental significance to genetic inheritance, the frequencies of mutation and recombination and the strength of chromosome transmission biases vary tremendously among individuals.

The broad objective of my research group is to understand the causes of variation in the very mechanisms that generate genetic diversity. Toward this goal, we pursue two complementary research strategies. First, we leverage the recognition that mutation rate, recombination frequency, and biased chromosome transmission are themselves complex genetic traits controlled by multiple genes and their interactions. We combine cytogenetic and genomic approaches for assaying DNA transmission with quantitative genetic analyses in order to identify the genetic and molecular causes of variation in these mechanisms. Second, through targeted investigations of loci with extreme recombination or mutation rates, we aim to illuminate the biological mechanisms that stimulate or suppress these processes. We are currently using this latter approach to investigate recombination rate regulation, patterns of genetic diversity, and the evolutionary history of the mammalian pseudoautosomal region.

Selected Publications

  • Lawal RA, Arora UP, Dumont BL. Selection shapes the landscape of functional variation in wild house mice. BMC Biol. 2021 19(1):239,2021. doi: 10.1186/s12915-021-01165-3.
  • Dumont BL. Evolution: Is Recombination Rate Variation Adaptive? Curr Biol.  30(8):R351-R353, 2020. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.02.061.
  • Dumont BL. Significant Strain Variation in the Mutation Spectra of Inbred Laboratory Mice. Mol Biol Evol. 36(5):865-874, 2019. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msz026.
  • Dumont BL, Williams CL, Ng BL, Horncastle V, Chambers CL, McGraw LA, Adams D, Mackay TFC, Breen M. Relationship Between Sequence Homology, Genome Architecture, and Meiotic Behavior of the Sex Chromosomes in North American Voles. Genetics. 210(1):83-97, 2018. doi: 10.1534/genetics.118.301182.
  • Dumont BL. X-Chromosome control of genome-scale recombination rates in house mice. Genetics 205: 1649-1656, 2017.
  • Dumont BL. Variation and evolution of the meiotic requirement for crossing over in mammals. Genetics 205: 155-168, 2017.
  • Dumont BL. Interlocus gene conversion explains at least. 7% of single nucleotide variants in human segmental duplications. BMC Genomics. 16:456, 2015
  • Borodin PM, Basheva EA, Torgasheva AA, Dashkevich OA, Golenishchev FN, Kartavtseva IV, Mekada K, Dumont BL. Multiple independent evolutionary losses of XY pairing at meiosis in the grey voles. Chromosome Res. 20(2):259-68 ,2012
  • Campbell CD, Chong JX, Malig M, Ko A, Dumont BL, Han L, Vives L, O’Roak BJ, Sudmant PH, Shendure J, Abney M, Ober C, Eichler EE. Estimating the human mutation rate using autozygosity in a founder population. Nat Genet. 44(11):1277-81, 2012