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Introduction to Genome Annotation

Author(s): Selene Nikaido

University of Central Missouri

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This exercise is an adaptation of the Annotation Lesson by Rosenwald et al. It introduces the use of bioinformatics tools to extract information from genome databases. It is a basic lesson on genome annotation databases.


This exercise is designed for undergraduate students who already have some basic knowledge of DNA structure/function, gene structure, and computer literacy. A slide deck created by Rosenwald et al. is used to introduce abstract ideas of annotation of genomes and should be consulted before attempting the exercise. Estimated time for implementation is 2-3 class periods depending on the prior knowledge of the students.


Materials were adapted from the original Annotation Exercise.  This exercise introduces concepts of genome annotation. It does not ask the student to annotate a genome. Students practice retrieving information from databases on NCBI and IMG/M sites. A note was added at the beginning of this adaptation specifying expectations of prior knowledge students need. A guided reading on the Annotation Slide Deck with commentary was added as an introductory exercise to help students understand why genome annotation is needed and what it entails. Some exercise questions were enhanced with additional explanation/questions.

All web addresses and sites should be checked just prior to implementation.

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