“Our findings imply that fragile regions migrate to different locations in different mammals, and it explains why there are only a few fragile regions shared between different lineages,” Alekseyev said.
The research demonstrates that the fragile regions undergo a birth-and-death process over evolutionary timescales and provides a clue to where the fragile regions in the human genome are located. The researchers conclude that these regions in the human genome are likely to be affected by the coming genome rearrangements.
“We hope that further analysis of the identified fragile regions in the human genome would provide insights into current trends in the human evolution,” Alekseyev said.
The researchers are now working on confirmation of a conjecture that genomic fragility is promoted by matching segmental duplications.
The researchers also hope that their approach may be useful for understanding genome rearrangements at the level of individuals, rather than entire species. In the future, they plan to apply similar analysis for the genome rearrangements that occur within the cells of individual cancer patients in order to develop new cancer diagnostics and drugs.