Special Perspectives

From Genotype to Phenotype: Systems Biology Meets Natural Variation

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Science  25 Apr 2008:
Vol. 320, Issue 5875, pp. 495-497
DOI: 10.1126/science.1153716

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The promise that came with genome sequencing was that we would soon know what genes do, particularly genes involved in human diseases and those of importance to agriculture. We now have the full genomic sequence of human, chimpanzee, mouse, chicken, dog, worm, fly, rice, and cress, as well as those for a wide variety of other species, and yet we still have a lot of trouble figuring out what genes do. Mapping genes to their function is called the “genotype-to-phenotype problem,” where phenotype is whatever is changed in the organism when a gene's function is altered.

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