A new guide on how to figure out which parts of DNA are actually expressed

Scientists trained in ecology and physiology are increasingly able to complement their work with the burgeoning field of “functional genomics”, i.e. the study of which parts of DNA (the “genome”) are actually expressed and used to make proteins under different conditions. A new guide is now provided for those from non-genetic fields to harness the power of fast computers and rapid technology in sequencing the letters in DNA, so that they can infer how animals respond to the environment. One area of particular interest is epigenetics, which refers to changes in gene expression without a change in the DNA letters (e.g. DNA methylation). The new guide outlines what is needed for those interested in using functional genomics, from experimental setup, to the preparation of samples, the use of computers, and final in determining which parts of the genome are expressed under different conditions. The new paper by SAFS professor Steven Roberts and SAFS postdoc MacKenzie Gaverie appears in the Journal of Shellfish Research.

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