As diagrammed by Frazer et al., genome sequence comparisons between multiple species varying in genetic distance provide tremendous insight into conserved genetic elements residing within a genome. In general, highly conserved segments of DNA across distant species are indicative of a DNA segment with a critical function. At the other end of the spectrum, sequences that are unique to a species most likely contain DNA elements that confer species uniqueness or prevent interspecific hybridization. Once conserved DNA elements are identified, then a variety of approaches can be used to determine the function of the conserved element.
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