Infographic: Partitioning the Genome

To make sense of the genetic variation within species, researchers are turning to the concept of the pangenome.

cofford
Catherine Offord

After undergraduate research with spiders at the University of Oxford and graduate research with ants at Princeton University, Catherine left arthropods and academia to become a science writer. She has...

View full profile.


Learn about our editorial policies.

Nov 30, 2016

http://PANGP.BIG.AC.CN

From the sequence of a single genome, it’s impossible to determine which genes are shared by all members of a species and which are possessed by only some. However, just one additional sequence offers the opportunity to distinguish shared and variable content. As more genomes are sequenced, more genes are discovered and some genes that were believed to be ubiquitous are found to be lacking from certain individuals. As a result, the estimated size of a species’s core genome—the set of genes shared by all members of a species—generally decreases, and the size of the pangenome—the set of all distinct genes in the species—increases.

VISUALIZING THE PANGENOME

A reference genome built from the DNA of an individual organism can be visualized as a linear sequence (top). But there is a growing appreciation that this sort of representation fails to reflect the diversity among individuals of a species, which...

© REPRODUCED, WITH PERMISSION, FROM BIOINFORMATICS, 30:3476-83, 2014.

Read the full story.

Interested in reading more?

Infographic: Partitioning the Genome

The Scientist ARCHIVES

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?