Indexed on: 17 May '08Published on: 17 May '08Published in: Comparative and Functional Genomics
There has been much interest in CpG islands (CGIs), clusters of CpG dinucleotides in GC-rich regions, because they are considered gene markers and involved in gene regulation. To date, there has been no genome-wide analysis of CGIs in the fish genome. We first evaluated the performance of three popular CGI identification algorithms in four fish genomes (tetraodon, stickleback, medaka, and zebrafish). Our results suggest that Takai and Jones' (2002) algorithm is most suitable for comparative analysis of CGIs in the fish genome. Then, we performed a systematic analysis of CGIs in the four fish genomes using Takai and Jones' algorithm, compared to other vertebrate genomes. We found that both the number of CGIs and the CGI density vary greatly among these genomes. Remarkably, each fish genome presents a distinct distribution of CGI density with some genomic factors (e.g., chromosome size and chromosome GC content). These findings are helpful for understanding evolution of fish genomes and the features of fish CGIs.