A long-range exploration of expression levels through wide chromosome territories was carried out in three species (pig, cattle, and chicken) by aligning EST counts against the human genome. This strategy made it possible to produce expression profiles that were very similar between pig and cattle and that were significantly correlated with chicken levels of expression. In parallel with these alignments, we developed a statistical approach enabling us to screen genomic regions for both underexpression and overexpression at the chromosome level within a given species, as well as interspecifically. The observed correlations are indicative of the existence of interspecifically conserved domains of gene expression, not only for housekeeping genes (which are highly expressed), but also for regions where genes are significantly underexpressed. Furthermore, our strategy made it possible to point out regions that are differentially regulated between species. These expression data were crossed with available comparative mapping information for pigs and cattle, suggesting that coregulated regions are syntenic in various mammals.
- Comparative genomics