Genomic Signature in Evolutionary Biology: A Review

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Organisms are unique physical entities in which information is stored and continuously processed. The digital nature of DNA sequences enables the construction of a dynamic information reservoir. However, the distinction between the hardware and software components in the information flow is crucial to identify the mechanisms generating specific genomic signatures. In this work, we perform a bibliometric analysis to identify the different purposes of looking for particular patterns in DNA sequences associated with a given phenotype. This study has enabled us to make a conceptual breakdown of the genomic signature and differentiate the leading applications. On the one hand, it refers to gene expression profiling associated with a biological function, which may be shared across taxa. This signature is the focus of study in precision medicine. On the other hand, it also refers to characteristic patterns in species-specific DNA sequences. This interpretation plays a key role in comparative genomics, identifying evolutionary relationships. Looking at the relevant studies in our bibliographic database, we highlight the main factors causing heterogeneities in genome composition and how they can be quantified. All these findings lead us to reformulate some questions relevant to evolutionary biology. Keywords: genomic signature; chaos game representation; genome sequence; alignment-free methods; evolutionary biology
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De la Fuente, Rebeca Díaz Villanueva, Wladimiro Arnau Llombart, Vicente Moya, Andrés 2023 Genomic Signature in Evolutionary Biology: A Review Biology-Basel 12 322 1 24