4th RECOMB Comparative Genomics Satellite Workshop (2006)

Large-scale genome sequencing projects are generating vast amounts of data for a multitude of organisms including mammals and other vertebrates, invertebrates, fungi, plants, bacteria, and viruses. As the data increase so do the opportunities and the challenges for scientists to interpret them. By endeavouring to make sense of the process and pattern of genome evolution, comparative genomics lies at the forefront of this challenge.

The core of comparative genome analysis is the establishment of the correspondence between genes (orthology analysis) or other genomic features in different organisms. It is these intergenomic maps that make it possible to trace the evolutionary processes responsible for the divergence of two genomes. A multitude of evolutionary events acting at various organizational levels shape genome evolution. At the lowest level, point mutations affect individual nucleotides. At a higher level, large chromosomal segments undergo duplication, lateral transfer, inversion, transposition, deletion and insertion.

Ultimately, whole genomes are involved in processes of hybridization, polyploidization and endosymbiosis, often leading to rapid speciation. The complexity of genome evolution poses many exciting challenges to developers of mathematical models and algorithms, who have recourse to a spectra of algorithmic, statistical and mathematical techniques, ranging from exact, heuristic, fixed parameter and approximation algorithms for problems based on parsimony models to Monte Carlo Markov Chain algorithms for Bayesian analysis of problems based on probabilistic models.

The RECOMB Satellite Workshop on Comparative Genomics is a forum on all aspects and components of this field, ranging from new quantitative discoveries about genome structure and process to theorems on the complexity of computational problems inspired by genome comparison.

The conference proceedings LNBI 4205 is now available online. You can find information about it at http://www.springeronline.com/3-540-44529-3 or access the online version at http://www.springerlink.com/content/978-3-540-44529-6/