Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics

Functional genomics is an area of molecular biology that scientists use to understand the relationship between an organism's genome (DNA sequence) and its phenotype. It captures information on changes in the way genes are expressed at the level of RNA and protein, and how that might reflect functions of genes or differences in how an organism appears, functions, and adapts to its environment. It is used to understand how small variations in DNA sequence might result in a change in phenotype that affects survival or fitness.

Scientists in several programs at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center use functional genomics approaches in their research to:

Bioinformatics capabilities were established at the Center to analyze and store large amounts of DNA sequence information and gene expression data generated from genome projects and functional genomics research.