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Chapter 11: Genome Analysis

A major application of bioinformatics is analysis of the full genomes of organisms that have been sequenced starting in the late 1990s, including over 100 microbial genomes, the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, the fruit fly Drosophila, the human genome, as well as many organisms that are human pathogens. Many additional genome sequencing projects have been completed and others are planned or 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.


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