The genomes from three mammals (human, mouse, and rat), two worms, and several yeasts have been sequenced, and more genomes will be completed in the near future for comparison with those of the major model organisms. Scientists have used various methods to align and compare the sequenced genomes to address critical issues in genome function and evolution. This review covers some of the major new insights about gene content, gene regulation, and the fraction of mammalian genomes that are under purifying selection and presumed functional. We review the evolutionary processes that shape genomes, with particular attention to variation in rates within genomes and along different lineages. Internet resources for accessing and analyzing the treasure trove of sequence alignments and annotations are reviewed, and we discuss critical problems to address in new bioinformatic developments in comparative genomics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-56
Number of pages42
JournalAnnual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics
StatePublished - Oct 25 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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