The Evolution of Noncoding DNA: How Much Junk, How Much Func?

Trends Genet. 2005 Oct;21(10):533-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2005.08.001.


Comparative sequence analysis on a genomic scale has opened the door for the systematic analysis of cis-acting regulatory DNA. It is now possible to begin to answer basic questions such as, how much meaningful noncoding sequence is in the genome? How strong is natural selection on functional noncoding sequences in different species? Two recent articles have capitalized on the comparative genomic approach in an attempt to answer these questions with surprising results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Intergenic / genetics*
  • DNA, Intergenic / metabolism
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genetics, Population
  • Genomics / methods
  • Genomics / trends*
  • Regulatory Elements, Transcriptional / genetics
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Sequence Alignment / methods


  • DNA, Intergenic