The Human Genome Project stimulated the development of efficient strategies and relevant hardware for complete genome sequencing. The comparative genomic approach extends the possibilities of using the sequencing data to identify new genes or conserved regulatory regions by means of nucleotide sequence alignment of the particular regions of the mouse and human genomes, or to trace the evolutionary events resulting in the genome structure of modern mammals. The review focuses on the use of new molecular cytogenetic methods along with computer-aided analysis of the genomes in vertebrates. Several factors hindering data analysis are considered. The currently available information on gene evolution rate inferred from comparative genomic data is presented. The origin and evolution of the genomes of several species are discussed.
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