We report the genomic DNA sequence of a single chromosome (linkage group 22; LG22) of the small teleost fish medaka (Oryzias latipes) as a first whole chromosome sequence from a non-mammalian vertebrate. The order and orientation of 633 protein-coding genes were deduced from 18,803,338 bp of DNA sequence, providing the opportunity to analyze chromosome evolution of vertebrate genomes by direct comparison with the human genome. The average number of genes in the "conserved gene cluster" (CGC), a strict definition of "synteny" at the sequence basis, between medaka and human was 1.6. These and other data suggest that approximately 38.8% of pair-wise gene relationships would have been broken from their common ancestor in the human and medaka lineages and further imply that approx 20,000 (15,520-23,280) breaks would have occurred from the entire genome of the common ancestor. These breaks were generated mainly by intra-chromosomal shufflings at a specific era in the vertebrate lineage. These precise comparative genomics allowed us to identify the pieces of ancient chromosomes of the common vertebrate ancestor and estimate chromosomal evolution in the vertebrate lineage.
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