With the sequencing of 12 complete euchromatic genomes, the genus is a leading model for comparative genomics. In this review, we discuss the novel insights into evolutionary processes afforded by the newly available genomic sequences when placed in the context of the phylogeny. We focus on three levels: insights into whole-genome content, such as changes in genome size and content across the phylogeny; insights into large-scale patterns of divergence and conservation, such as selective constraints on genes and chromosome-level evolution of sex chromosomes; and insights into finer-scale processes in individual lineages and genes, such as lineage-specific evolution in response to ecological context. As the field of comparative genomics is still young, we also discuss current challenges, such as the development of more sophisticated evolutionary models to capture nonequilibrium processes and the improvement of assembly and alignment algorithms to better capture uncertainty in the data.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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