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Genome Res. 2004 Jun;14(6):1043-51.

Comparative genomic hybridization provides new insights into the molecular taxonomy of the Saccharomyces sensu stricto complex.

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Department of Biomolecular Sciences, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), Manchester M60 1QD, United Kingdom.


The science of taxonomy is constantly improving as new techniques are developed. Current practice is to construct phylogenetic trees based on the analysis of the DNA sequence of single genes, or parts of single genes. However, this approach has recently been brought into question as several tree topologies may be produced for the same clade when the sequences for various different genes are used. The availability of complete genome sequences for several organisms has seen the adoption of microarray technology to construct molecular phylogenies of bacteria, based on all of the genes. Similar techniques have been used to reveal the relationships between different strains of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We have exploited microarray technology to construct a molecular phylogeny for the Saccharomyces sensu stricto complex of yeast species, which is based on all of the protein-encoding genes revealed by the complete genome sequence of the paradigmatic species, S. cerevisiae. We also analyze different strains of S. cerevisiae itself, as well as the putative species S. boulardii. We show that in addition to the phylogeny produced, we can identify and analyze individual ORF traits and interpret the results to give a detailed explanation of evolutionary events underlying the phylogeny.

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