20 April, 2009

Ensembl Genomes live!

Today the long-awaited Ensembl Genomes went live! This is a 'sister project' focusing on those species that aren't part of Ensembl, i.e. non-vertebrates. Please have a look at what the Ensembl Genomes team have to say about it themselves:

"We are delighted to announce the forthcoming release of Ensembl Bacteria, Ensembl Protists and Ensembl Metazoa, the first sites to be launched as part of the EBI's "Ensembl Genomes" project to extend the use of the Ensembl browser to non-vertebrate genomes.

These following site are available:


Additional sites for fungi and plants are in development and will be launched during the summer of this year.

In the Ensembl Genomes project, we are aiming to do two things: firstly to work with particular communities to support the bioinformatic analysis of genome-scale data; and secondly, to provide an integrative portal to data from species of scientific interest from across the taxonomic space. In pursuit of both these aims, we will re-use and extend the proven Ensembl software system, that has been developed by EBI and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the context of vertebrate genomics.

As with Ensembl, Ensembl Genomes will provide access to DNA and protein sequence, positional and functional annotation of protein-coding and non-protein coding genes, repeat analysis and other features and statistics. An interesting feature made available with the release of Ensembl Genomes is the inclusion of a multi-way comparative genomic analysis performed using a selection of species from bacteria to humans, and the production of gene trees showing the inferred ancestral relationships within deeply conserved protein families. Comparative resources are also provided at a narrower level (for example, DNA and protein-based analyses of individual bacterial clades). In partnership with collaborators, we are working on capturing gene expression, and population-scale variation data, in a number of contexts. More generally, we anticipate the ongoing enrichment of these resources through the integration of increasing quantities of high throughput data now becoming routinely available for all species.

Ensembl Genomes will provide access to data through the usual routes supported for vertebrate data; web-based browser, FTP site, programmatic API, DAS, and BioMart-style data warehouse; as well as text and sequence-based search.

We look forward to working with you as future producers and consumers of data. More information about the project is available at http://www.ensemblgenomes.org. We will be happy to receive any feedback you might wish to offer us at helpdesk@ensemblgenomes.org."

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