An integration of the pattern of genome-wide inter-site associations with evolutionary forces is important for gaining insights into the genomic evolution in natural or artificial populations. Here, we assess the inter-site correlation blocks and their distributions along chromosomes. A correlation block is broadly termed as the DNA segment within which strong correlations exist between genetic diversities at any two sites. We bring together the population genetic structure and the genomic diversity structure that have been independently built on different scales and synthesize the existing theories and methods for characterizing genomic structure at the population level. We discuss how population structure could shape correlation blocks and their patterns within and between populations. Effects of evolutionary forces (selection, migration, genetic drift, and mutation) on the pattern of genome-wide correlation blocks are discussed. In eukaryote organisms, we briefly discuss the associations between the pattern of correlation blocks and genome assembly features in eukaryote organisms, including the impacts of multigene family, the perturbation of transposable elements, and the repetitive nongenic sequences and GC-rich isochores. Our reviews suggest that the observable pattern of correlation blocks can refine our understanding of the ecological and evolutionary processes underlying the genomic evolution at the population level.
Keywords: Genomic diversity, correlation blocks, multigene family, transposable element, nongenic repeats, GC-rich isochores, Genetic drift, Mutation, Logarithm of odds (LOD), SNP Markers
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