New initiatives to sequence complete genomes of related organisms have introduced a new era of large-scale evolutionary genomics. The comparative analysis of these genomes allows us to obtain a comprehensive view of many aspects of eukaryotic genome evolution. Consequently, new computational methods and approaches are being developed in order to investigate chromosomal organisation, rearrangements and segmental homology. Here, we review the different techniques currently available to identify homologous chromosomal segments in closely and more distantly related species and highlight some of the difficulties inherent to the statistical validation of putative genomic homology. In addition, advantages of cross-species genome analysis are discussed as well as novel approaches to study large-scale gene duplications.
Keywords: genome evolution, genomic homology, colinearity, gene duplication
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