Regulatory elements have strong implications in virtually all human diseases. Previous studies relying on sequence data alone have provided a great deal of information regarding the evolution of regulatory elements. The incorporation of functional genomic data has proven even more powerful in identifying significant regulatory changes responsible for phenotypic changes. In this study, we use the osmotic stress response (OSR) in eight Ascomycota yeasts as a model to systematically study the evolution of cis-regulatory elements responsible for an important stress response. We measured time-course genomic expression profiles under three different osmotic stresses using microarrays. We later identified enriched cis-regulatory elements in differentially expressed genes clustered by similarity in their response to stress. We found that clusters demonstrating similar behavior across the eight species show conserved cis-regulatory elements, despite substantial divergence in gene membership throughout and across the phylogeny.
PROJECT: Comparative Analyses of Osmotic Stress Response in Ascomycete Yeasts
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