Geneticists are known for having developed a language of their own. So is just about everybody else in science. Ergo, looking up definitions is often a necessity. Today’s term is synteny (which etymologically means "on the same ribbon".) You might think that we don't need to worry about this so much in bacteria and archaea, the majority of whom have a single chromosome. All their genes are syntenic by definition. Synteny applies to multichromosomal organisms – of which there is a sizeable number within the bacteria, for example, Rhodobacter spheroides (where this was first observed), Burkholderia cepacia, and some vibrios, brucellas, leptospiras, and rhizobia. Anyhow, we went ahead and looked up synteny. We were hoping for some enlightenment to share with you. Were we successful? Here are the results.
- The occurrence of two or more loci on the same chromosome, without regard to the distance between them. Source
Portions of chromosomes in which gene order is conserved. Source
- The term synteny was originally defined to mean that two gene loci share the same chromosome. In a genomic context we refer to syntenic regions if both sequence and gene order is conserved between two [closely related] species. Source (Link now broken)
- Two genes which occur on the same chromosome are syntenic; however, syntenic genes may or may not be "linked." Source: NHBLI/NCBI Glossary
In classical genetics, synteny describes the physical co-localization of genetic loci on the same chromosome within an individual or species. Source
Lots of luck.
So does anyone actually know what synteny means in relation to bacteria which only possess one chromosome?
Synteny refers to the distance of genes within one chromosome.
Posted by: beth | February 20, 2013 at 07:50 AM