Mammalian Genes and Evolutionary Genomics
The availability of mammalian genome sequences is allowing differentiation between regions relatively disregarded by selection and those that have been subject to stronger selection and hence will probably be of the greatest biological interest. These selective pressures are most often purifying, so as to conserve genetic sequences whose maintenance is critical to the fitness of the individuals of a species. The identification of well-conserved regions, whether within protein-coding genes or inter-genic regulatory elements, such as promoters and enhancers, requires comparison of more distantly related vertebrates, such as human and fish or chicken, which display sufficient underlying sequence divergence for the conservation to be evident.
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