Journal Article

Comparative Analysis of Teleost Genome Sequences Reveals an Ancient Intron Size Expansion in the Zebrafish Lineage

Stephen P. Moss, Domino A. Joyce, Stuart Humphries, Katherine J. Tindall and David H. Lunt

in Genome Biology and Evolution

Published on behalf of Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution

Volume 3, issue , pages 1187-1196
Published in print January 2011 |
Published online September 2011 | e-ISSN: 1759-6653 | DOI:

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  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
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We have developed a bioinformatics pipeline for the comparative evolutionary analysis of Ensembl genomes and have used it to analyze the introns of the five available teleost fish genomes. We show our pipeline to be a powerful tool for revealing variation between genomes that may otherwise be overlooked with simple summary statistics. We identify that the zebrafish, Danio rerio, has an unusual distribution of intron sizes, with a greater number of larger introns in general and a notable peak in the frequency of introns of approximately 500 to 2,000 bp compared with the monotonically decreasing frequency distributions of the other fish. We determine that 47% of D. rerio introns are composed of repetitive sequences, although the remainder, over 331 Mb, is not. Because repetitive elements may be the origin of the majority of all noncoding DNA, it is likely that the remaining D. rerio intronic sequence has an ancient repetitive origin and has since accumulated so many mutations that it can no longer be recognized as such. To study such an ancient expansion of repeats in the Danio, lineage will require further comparative analysis of fish genomes incorporating a broader distribution of teleost lineages.

Keywords: genome evolution; teleosts; introns; repeat elements; comparative genomics pipeline

Journal Article.  6018 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology ; Evolutionary Biology ; Genetics and Genomics

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