Petko Petkov

Petko Petkov

Research Scientist
The Jackson Laboratory
600 Main Street
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Tel. (207) 288-6732



In mammals, recombination occurs in highly localized regions, usually 1-2 kb in size, termed hotspots. Hotspots can be positioned relatively close to each other or separated by long distances, up to several hundred kilobases.

Our lab performs high-resolution studies of recombination and genes that affect recombination positioning and activity, including epistatic genes that interact in networks to control the location and activity of hotspots. We have found evidence for the role of trans-acting genes on the activity of individual hotspots, and discovered the first mammalian gene controlling recombination positioning, Prdm9 (Science 327:835), and it was confirmed by other labs as well. We are also interested in studying PRDM9 binding sites, and have mapped them at several mouse and human hotspots down to single nucleotides. We have several ongoing projects on biology and mechanisms of recombination initiation in mammals.

Selected Publications

Petkov P, Graber JH, Churchill GA, DiPetrillo K, King BL, Paigen K.
Evidence of a large scale functional organization of mammalian chromosomes
PLoS Genet. 2005 Sep;1(3):e33. PMCID: PMC1201368

Petkov PM, Broman KW, Szatkiewicz JP, Paigen K.
Crossover interference underlies sex differences in recombination rates
Trends Genet. 2007 Nov;23(11):539-42.

Petkov PM, Graber JH, Churchill GA, DiPetrillo K, King BL, Paigen K.
Evidence of large-scale functional organization of mammalian chromosomes
PLoS Biol. 2007 May;5(5):e127; author reply e128. PMCID: PMCID1868061

Ng SH, Parvanov E, Petkov PM, Paigen K.
A quantitative assay for crossover and noncrossover molecular evens at individual recombination hotspots in both male and female gametes
Genomics. 2008 Oct;92(4):204-9. PMCID: PMC2610674

Paigen K, Szatkiewicz JP, Sawyer K, Leahy N, Parvanov ED, Ng S, Graber JH, Broman KW, Petkov PM.
The recombinational anatomy of a mouse chromosome
PLoS Genet. 2008 Jul 11;4(7):e1000119. PMCID: PMC2440539

Ng SH, Maas SA, Petkov PM, Mills KD, Paigen K.
Co-localization of somatic and meiotic double strand breaks near the Myc oncogene on mouse chromosome 15
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2009 Oct;48(10):925-30. PMCID: PMC2821716

Ng SH, Madeira R, Parvanov ED, Petros LM, Petkov PM, Paigen K.
Parental origin of chromosomes influences crossover within the Kcnq1 transcriptionally imprinted domain of Mus musculus
BMC Mol Biol. 2009 May 13;10:43. PMCID: PMC2689222

Parvanov ED, Ng SHS, Petkov PM, Paigen K.
Trans-regulation of mouse meiotic recombination hotspots by Rcr1
PLoS Biol. 2009 Feb 17;7(2):e36. PMCID: PMC2642880

Billings T, Sargent EE, Szatkiewicz JP, Leahy N, Kwak IY, Bektassova N, Walker M, Hassold T, Graber JH, Broman KW, Petkov PM.
Patterns of recombination activity on mouse chromosome 11 revealed by high resolution mapping
PLoS One 5(12):e15430. PMCID: PMC2999565

Paigen K, Petkov P.
Mammalian recombination hotspots: properties, control and evolution
Nat Rev Genet. 2010 Mar;11(3):221-33. Review.

Parvanov ED, Petkov PM, Paigen K.
Prdm9 controls activation of mammalian recombination hotspots
Science. 2010 Feb 12;327(5967):835. PMCID: PMC2821451