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Applications of Bioinformatics in Biotechnology

BY: Nidhi Uppangala | Category: Bioinformatics | Submitted: 2010-09-20 09:28:39
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Article Summary: "Bioinformatics has got so many applications in biotechnology field. Some of the important ones include automatic genome sequencing, automatic identification of genes, identification of functions of gens, predicting the 3D structure modelling and pair-wise compairism of genes..."

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Bioinformatics has got so many applications in biotechnology field. Some of the important ones include automatic genome sequencing, automatic identification of genes, identification of functions of gens, predicting the 3D structure modelling and pair-wise compairism of genes.

1. Automatic Genome Sequencing:

Bioinformatics are used in genome sequencing techniques such as

a. Bioinformatics are used in the development of automated sequencing techniques that use PCR or BAC based gene amplifications, two dimensional electrophoresis and also automated reading of nucleotides.
b. Bioinformatics are used in joining the sequence of smaller fragments of DNA to form a complete genome sequence.
c. Bioinformatics are also used in the prediction of promoter region of the genome.
d. Bioinformatics are also used in the prediction of promoter coding region of the genome.

Small fragments of genome can be amplified using polymerase chain reaction or bacterial artificial chromosome. Amplified fragments may suffer from nucleotide reading errors, repeats; these in turn generate multiple copies of the same genome fragments. These repeats are removed just before the final assembly of all genome fragments via mathematical models.

2. Identification of Genes:

Bioinformatics programmes such as GLIMMER and GenBank are used to identify the coding region or open reading frames in the genome.

3. Identifying Gene Function:

After identifying the open reading frames present in the genome, nest step is to annotate the structure and function of the genes. Bioinformatics tool such as sequence search and pair-wise gene alignment technique are used to identify the gene function. The major four algorithms such as BLAST, BLOSUM, ClustalX and SMART are used for the functional annotation of genes.

4. Three-dimensional (3D) Structure Modelling:

Single protein may present in different conformational states depending upon its interaction with other proteins present in the vicinity. Three-dimensional structure of the protein has got some regions exposed for protein-protein or protein-DNA interactions. Also the function of these proteins are also depends upon these interactions.

Bioinformatics techniques are also used to predict the possible conformation of the protein coded by a gene; this in turn helps in identifying the function of the same protein.

5. Pair-wise Genome Comparison:

After the identification of functioning of a particular gene, bioinformatics is also used for pair-wise genome comparisons. Pair-wise comparison of a genome with itself is done to get the details of paralogous genes or duplicated genes that have the same base sequence with some functional variations. Also pair-wise genome comparison is also done against other genome to get information such as orthologous genes. These genes are equivalent genes present in two different genomes due to speciation. This technique is also used to identify different types of gene-groups and adjacent genes that occur in the close proximity as they are involved in common higher level function, and also lateral-gene transfer that is transfer of genes from a microorganism that is evolutionary distant. Bioinformatics technique is also used to analyse gene-fusion or gene-fission, gene-group duplication and much more.

6. Drug Discovery:

Bioinformatics techniques are also used in the process of drug discovery, these speeds up the process.

7. Vaccine Design:

Bioinformatics techniques are used in the effective and efficient designing of vaccine and also in the designing of antimicrobial agents.

8. Microbial Genome Sequencing:

Bioinformatics is also used in automating microbial genome sequencing.

9. Genome Comparison:

Bioinformatics techniques is also used to genome as follows,
a. Identifying conserved function within a genome family
b. Identifying a specific genes in a group of genomes
c. Modelling 3D structure of proteins
d. Docking of biochemical compounds as well as receptors.
This helps in developing integrated data bases over the internet. This also helps in understanding function of gene and also genome.


Bioinformatics has got major impacts on biotechnology and its applications. The vast amount of data generated by human genome project or by other genome sequencing project would be unmanageable without the bioinformatics technique. Without bioinformatics handling, interpretation of these data would be unthinkable. Due to the bioinformatics application cost of all these major projects comes down drastically.

Bioinformatics also quickened the drug discovery, vaccine design and also the design of anti-microbial agents. Bioinformatics is also used to understand gene and also genome. Bioinformatics programmes are also used to compare gene-pair alignment, which helps in identifying functions of gene and also genome functionality.

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