Conditions such as neurodevelopmental and behavioural disorders may result from changes in the architecture of specific sites along the DNA of chromosomes in the human genome. The human genome sequence has revealed the importance of such chromosome alterations. The sequence harbours molecular signatures (i.e. segmental duplications) that facilitate rearrangements of genomic material and that individuals and species vary in their genomic structure and the copy number of genes at specific regions of the genome. These regions, which comprise an amazing 5% of the human genome’s content, contain these molecular signatures. The Non-Human Genome Segmental Duplication Database allows users to search for segmental duplications in the genomes of chimpanzee, mouse and rat.
The basic criteria used to identify regions of segmental duplication in this database are that the data contains sequence identity of at least 90%, sequence length of at least 5 kb, and that the data not be entirely composed of repetitive elements. The database contains data based on the analysis of the May 2004 Assembly of the mouse genome, the July 2004 Assembly of the dog genome, the November 2003 Assembly of the chimpanzee genome and the February 2004 Assembly of the chicken genome. The project is funded by Genome Canada through the Ontario Genomics Institute.