Comparative genomics as a tool for gene discovery
With the increasing availability of data from multiple eukaryotic genome sequencing projects, attention has focused on interspecific comparisons to discover novel genes and transcribed genomic sequences. Generally, these extrinsic strategies combine ab initio gene prediction with expression and/or homology data to identify conserved gene candidates between two or more genomes. Interspecific sequence analyses have proven invaluable for the improvement of existing annotations, automation of annotation, and identification of novel coding regions and splice variants. Further, comparative genomic approaches hold the promise of improved prediction of terminal or small exons, microRNA precursors, and small peptide-encoding open reading frames — sequence elements that are difficult to identify through purely intrinsic methodologies in the absence of experimental data.