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Genome Res. 2001 Jul;11(7):1175-86.

Surveying Saccharomyces genomes to identify functional elements by comparative DNA sequence analysis.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


Comparative sequence analysis has facilitated the discovery of protein coding genes and important functional sequences within proteins, but has been less useful for identifying functional sequence elements in nonprotein-coding DNA because the relatively rapid rate of change of nonprotein-coding sequences and the relative simplicity of non-coding regulatory sequence elements necessitates the comparison of sequences of relatively closely related species. We tested the use of comparative DNA sequence analysis to aid identification of promoter regulatory elements, nonprotein-coding RNA genes, and small protein-coding genes by surveying random DNA sequences of several Saccharomyces yeast species, with the goal of learning which species are best suited for comparisons with S. cerevisiae. We also determined the DNA sequence of a few specific promoters and RNA genes of several Saccharomyces species to determine the degree of conservation of known functional elements within the genome. Our results lead us to conclude that comparative DNA sequence analysis will enable identification of functionally conserved elements within the yeast genome, and suggest a path for obtaining this information.

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