Capturing the regulatory interactions of eukaryote genomes


A key finding from early genomics research is the remarkable consistency in the number of protein-coding regions across diverse species. This has led many researchers to look to the cis-regulatory elements of genes as the fundamental influence behind evolving gene function and subsequent species diversification. Historically, since these elements are often located in vast intergenic and intronic regions of the genome, their identification has been recalcitrant. Now, with the deluge of whole-genome data from representatives of numerous eukaryotic lineages, various approaches have enabled us to begin to recognize features that characterize regulatory regions of the genome. Here we endeavour to collate these approaches in order to give an overview of the complexities involved in extrapolating regulatory signatures. The resource provided by the escalating richness of whole-genome datasets enables more sophisticated modelling of these regulatory signatures yet at the same time introduces increasing potential for noise. While we are only at the advent of making these discoveries, the next decade promises to be a very exciting and rewarding time for genome researchers.

Journal details

Volume 12
Issue number 2
Pages 142-160
Publication date


Type of publication

Crick labs/facilities