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Discuss how synteny can be exploited to isolate genes from and provide information on the evolution of the genomes of different eukaryotic organisms. Illustrate your essay with specific examples.

Introduction

With the advent of the genomic age and the recent completion of genome screening projects of many eukaryotic as well as prokaryotic organisms, molecular biologists are now in a better position than ever to exploit the available genetic information in order to identify the evolutionary origins of many different species.

Modern bioinformatic techniques that utilise the data yielded from genome screening projects can also be interpreted to identify individual genes and the function of their gene products. The wealth of information surrounding genome sequences allows the technique of comparative genomics to be used in order to investigate gene function and evolution.

The sequencing of further eukaryotic genomes will provide further data to provide a comprehensive overview of the evolutionary origins and functions of all genes. From a medical perspective, the identification of genes and their polymorphism useful is already becoming as useful tool in the screening of heritable genetic conditions within individuals.

Following the continued success of genome projects, there is a current wealth of research being directed at elucidating the proteome, to identify the many hundreds of thousands of proteins in the case of humans that are encoded by the genome, but are subject to alternatively splicing, post-translational modifications and phosphorylation that confer their specific functions.

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