Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tool for Gene Analysis

Introduction to Gene Analysis Tool
A major application of bioinformatics is analysis of the full genomes of organisms that have been sequenced starting in the late 1990s, including microbial genomes, the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, the fruit fly Drosophila, and the human genome. Many additional genome sequencing projects are either being planned or are already under way. Traditional genetics and molecular biology have been directed toward understanding the role of a particular gene or protein in an important biological process. A gene is sequenced to predict its function or to manipulate its activity or expression. In contrast, the availability of genome sequences provides the sequences of all the genes of an organism so that important genes influencing metabolism, cellular differentiation and development, and disease processes in animals and plants, can be identified and the relevant genes manipulated. The challenge is to identify those genes that are predicted to have a particular biological function and then to design experiments to test that prediction. This analysis depends on gene prediction using gene models for each organism followed by sequence comparisons between the predicted proteins with other proteins whose function is known from biological studies. To facilitate such comparisons, the genomes of a number of model organisms about which a great deal of biological information is available have been sequenced. Many years of genetic and biochemical research of these model organisms—the bacterium Escherichia coli, S. cerevisiae, C. elegans, A. thaliana, and D. melanogaster—have led to the accumulation of a large amount of information on gene organization and function. The mouse Mus musculus is a genetic model for humans because the two species are so closely related through evolution. A newly identified gene in another organism can be compared to the existing database of information to find whether it has a similar function. Genes involved in human disease, for example, are sometimes found to be similar to a fruit fly gene at the protein sequence level. The genetic effects of mutations in the fruit fly’s gene will then provide a biochemical, cellular, or developmental model for the human disease. Interestingly, it has not been possible to identify the function of all the genes in model organisms. As a result, a similar gene or family of genes may be found in several organisms, including a model organism, but the function is not known because the gene functions have not yet been analyzed. Hence, continued biological analysis of model organisms in those areas that are not tractable by the tools of bioinformatics has many important applications.

Index Page for Gene Analysis Tool

Main Gene Analysis Tool Page


Posted by:-Indian Biological Sciences and Research Institute, NOIDA

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