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The Rat Genome as a Rodent Model in Evolutionary Studies

  1. Kim Fechtel

Published Online: 14 MAR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020755



How to Cite

Fechtel, K. 2008. The Rat Genome as a Rodent Model in Evolutionary Studies. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 3rd Millennium, Inc., Waltham, Massachusetts, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 MAR 2008


The genome sequence of the Brown Norway rat, Rattus norvegicus, revealed the precision with which genome analysis could trace the imprint of nucleotide changes associated with the radiation of mammalian species. Analysis of the protein-coding repertoire and noncoding conserved elements (NCEs) including viable and decayed transposable elements, viruses and simple repeats provide landmarks for reconstructing past evolutionary events. From this analysis, it was possible to posit the configuration of genomes of long-extinct mammalian ancestors. Application of evolutionary methods to subsets of the rat genome, the orthologues of human disease genes, permits the further validation of the laboratory rat as a model for studies of human pathogenesis.


  • evolution;
  • genome;
  • disease;
  • rodent;
  • conservation;
  • research