A minigene is a minimal gene fragment that includes an exon and the control regions necessary for the gene to express itself in the same way as a wild type gene fragment. This is a minigene in its most basic sense. More complex minigenes can be constructed containing multiple exons and intron(s). Minigenes provide a valuable tool for researchers evaluating splicing patterns both in vivo and in vitro biochemically assessed experiments. Specifically, minigenes are used as splice reporter vectors and act as a probe to determine which factors are important in splicing outcomes. They can be constructed to test the way both cis-regulatory elements and trans-regulatory elements affect gene expression.