Synteny is a valid deduction that two or more genomic regions are derived from a single ancestral genomic region. Syntenic region can be from different organisms and are derived from speciation, or from the same genome and are derived from genome duplication events (such as polyploidy). One method for inferring synteny is through evidence based on collinearity of genomic content such as genes. If two regions have obvious collinear genomic features, they are syntenous. However, many noncollinear regions may be logically rearranged (e.g. through inversions) into a common ancestor, and thus be syntenous.
Syntenic block: This term refers to a set of syntenic genomic regions and is usually comprised of syntenic gene sets. Syntenic blocks are of interest to researchers as a unit of evolutionary history that may be used for additional studies such as:
- genome evolution
- ancestral genome reconstruction
- gene family evolution
- origin of gene family duplicates