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Syntenic mapping: A powerful tool for comparative genomics in plants

Ikhlaq Ahmad1, Azeem Iqbal Khan2, Safdar Ali3, Rashid Mehmood Rana1*

1Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

2Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan

3Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan


Comparative genomics has emerged as a great tool in understanding variations/similarities among various species at molecular level. In classical genetics synteny was used to show that two or more loci are present on same chromosome. Now a day’s synteny is being used to answer questions concerning homeology (the remains of completely homologous chromosomes). Chromosome/genome synteny has been observed in closely related species, having several genes with similar map orders. Synteny is helpful in comparing different genomes. It is used in the study of evolution of genomes, observe functional conservation, help in genome annotation and observe genome assembly errors. Synteny among different genomes can be detected by identification of conserved sequence elements among genomes, comparing the conserved proteins with the help of BLASTP or by the combination of both. Numerous tools are available for the detection of synteny among different genomes. Synteny analysis has been used largely to study complex genomes and helped in discoveries at genomic, chromosomal and gene levels. Syntenic mapping in plant breeding holds promising future prospects.


Keywords: Comparative genomics, Synteny, Homeology, Chromosome, Genome, Gene

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