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  • Writer's pictureAbigail LaBella

What is synteny anyway??

Wikipedia says that "Synteny is a neologism meaning "on the same ribbon". It's a term in genetics that refers to the level of similarity in the order of genetic regions.


The order of genes, genomic blocks, or chromosomal regions can change across evolutionary time. This leads to differences in synteny between individuals or species.


For example two species of budding yeasts could have genomic blocks in the following order

A B C D

A D B C


There is a difference in synteny between these two genomes!


Dr. LaBella recently contributed to a manuscript that studied the synteny of 120 species of budding yeasts. In this manuscript we found that

  • Budding yeast genomes to examine evolution of genome organization

  • Budding yeasts exhibit lower macrosynteny than animals and filamentous fungi

  • Budding yeasts exhibit high levels of microsynteny conservation on par with mammals

  • Genes in metabolic clusters are deeply conserved across the subphylum




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