Statistical Evaluation of Genome Rearrangement

  • David Sankoff
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3909)


Genomic distances based on the number of rearrangement steps – inversions, transpositions, reciprocal translocations – necessary to convert the gene or segment order of one genome to that of another are potentially meaningful measures of evolutionary divergence. The significance of a comparison between two genomes, however, depends on how it differs from the case where the order of the n segments constituting one genome is randomized with respect to the other. In this presentation, we discuss the comparison of randomized segment orders from a probabilistic and statistical viewpoint as a basis for evaluating the relationships among real genomes. The combinatorial structure containing all the information necessary to calculate genomic distance d is the bicoloured “breakpoint graph”, essentially the union of two bipartite matchings within the set of 2n segment ends, a red matching induced by segment endpoint adjacencies in one genome and black matching similarly determined by the other genome. The number c of alternating-colour cycles in the breakpoint graph is the key component in formulae for d. Indeed, dnc, where equality holds for the most inclusive repertory of rearrangement types postulated to account for evolutionary divergence.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Sankoff
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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