The Ensembl Genomes Project is pleased to announce release 8 of Ensembl Genomes (

The main highlights of this release are:

  • Software migration to Ensembl 61
  • New Pan Compara database consisting a selection of vertebrate genomes from Ensembl 61 and genomes from Ensembl Genomes 8 (incorporating 8 new species), giving a species total of 313.
  • 3 oomycete genomes added to Ensembl Protists, including Phytopthora infestans and Phytopthora ramorum responsible for potato blight and Sudden Oak Death disease respectively.
  • 5 genomes added to Ensembl Metazoa, including Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Echinodermata) (sea urchin), Apis mellifera (Arthropoda) (honey bee) and Nematostella vectensis (Cnidaria) (sea anemone).

For further details please visit the individual homepages:

Ensembl 61 has gone live. In displays like gene summary and region in detail, favourite tracks can be turned on. To do this, open the configuration panel (click on configure this page in the left hand menu). Activating a star by clicking on it will place that track in the favourites menu (shown by an arrow in the diagram).

Hover over any track name in these views to view information about the data, change the display, or turn the track off. Turning on tracks must still be done with the configuration panel.

We hope this helps ease of navigation. Read about other updates in 61, such as our new species, Turkey, in the news. The Ensembl Team

We are pleased to announce new documentation, specific for describing the gene annotation methodology and results for particular species.

Ensembl gene annotation is a multi-step process which usually takes several months to complete for one species, and is termed the genebuild. In order to provide our users with more information on the data resources used and decisions made during the genebuilding process, we are introducing a new genebuild summary PDF document for each new genebuild, starting from early February 2011 with Ensembl release 61. Each document includes details on not only the alignment programs and data filtering parameters used, but also statistics on the number of protein/cDNA/EST sequences used at different stages of the genebuild. For example, users will be able to find out how many protein sequences were retrieved from public repositories (RefSeq and UniProt) at the beginning of the genebuilding process, how many of these proteins aligned to the genome by various algorithms at different stages of the build, and how many remain in the final gene set as supporting evidence for genes. For human, mouse and zebrafish, the process of merging Ensembl and Havana annotations is also explained.

The genebuild summary will be available for six species: the Anole lizard, Marmoset, Mouse, Panda, Turkey and Zebrafish. More genebuild summaries will be available in the future when genebuilds of existing species are being updated, or when new species are being annotated. You can download the document via a link found near the bottom of the “Description” page for each species. Just click on the species of interest from the home page, to open its description page.

The Ensembl Genomes Project is pleased to announce release 7 of Ensembl
Genomes (

The main highlights of this release are:

* Software migration to Ensembl 60

* 66 new genomes added for Ensembl Bacteria and updated functional
genomics databases for Escherichia/Shigella and Staphylococcus

* Puccinia graminis f sp tritic genome added to Ensembl Fungi

* Zea mays and Physcomitrella patens genomes added to Ensembl Plants,
new variation datasets for Oryza sativa and updates to the
functional genomics databases for Oryza sativa indica, Oryza sativa
japonica and Arabidopsis thaliana

* Acyrthosiphon pisum genome added to Ensembl Metazoa

Please see the individual homepages for more detailed information:

The Ensembl project is pleased to announce release 60 of Ensembl. Highlights of this release are:

* New species – Giant Panda
* New assemblies and genebuilds for zebrafish and rabbit
* Improved design of the Variation Table
* New display for GO terms
* Improved navigation on Region in Detail, including autocompletion of gene display names (e.g. HGNC)

For more information visit:

The Ensembl Team

The Ensembl Genomes Project is pleased to announce release 6 of Ensembl Genomes.

The highlights of this release are:

  • Software migration to Ensembl 59.
  • Two new rodent malarial genomes: Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium chabaudi and an update to the Plasmodium falciparum gene-set in Ensembl Protists.
  • Variation BioMarts added for Plasmodium falciparum, Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Ensembl Fungi), Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa indica, Oryza sativa japonica, Vitis vinifera (Ensembl Plants), Anopheles gambiae and Drosophila melanogaster (Ensembl Metazoa).

See the individual homepages for Bacteria, Protists, Fungi, Plants and Metazoa for more information.

With the recent release of version 58, we are pleased to announce a few features designed to make genome browsing simpler. Have you noticed the search function in the individual tables? For example, in the Gene tab: “Variation Table“, search for a variation ID.

Have a look at our sortable tables. In this example, we can sort by ID, Type, location, allele, source, or validation status. Use the arrows next to the column title to choose a new column to sort by. Searchable, and sortable, tables can also be found for orthologues, variations across individuals or strains, protein motifs and domains, and more.

If you are browsing a genomic region, you may have noticed that the Location tab: “Region in detail” view has a sliding zoom bar. Zoom out to view neighbouring genes and features, or zoom in to your favourite exon.

We have been developing a pipeline to build gene models using only RNA-seq data. For release 58 we have added a preliminary set of Zebrafish RNA-seq gene models with an intention to integrate this new source of evidence into a full genebuild soon.

Zebrafish transcriptome data from 9 tissues were used to build a set of genes and splice variants. For each loci we chose the variant with the highest read support to display, further details on the process are available here.
To display the genes, go to the Region in Detail, or Region Overview. Use the “Configure this page” button and select “RNASeq Genes” from the “Genes” menu. The “Supporting DNA Alignments” menu contains supporting exon and intron features from each of the nine tissues. Clicking on these features in Ensembl location pages shows a simple read count for the intron features and RPKM values for transcripts and exons, (reads per kilobase of model per million mapped reads, from Mortazavi Nature Methods 2008).

This is a first attempt at visualising tissue specific read depth and alternative splicing, which we hope to develop further in the future.

The Ensembl Genomes Project is pleased to announce release 5 of Ensembl Genomes.

The main highlights of this release are:

  • Software migration to Ensembl 58
  • Total of 6 new bacterial genomes for Escherichia/Shigella and Staphylococcus collections for Ensembl Bacteria; pairwise alignments added for all collections.

  • 2 new genomes, Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Thalassiosira pseudonana, for Ensembl Protists; pairwise alignments added.

  • Pristionchus pacificus genome from Wormbase and updates to the Drosophilia variation database added to Ensembl Metazoa.

  • Updates to the variation databases for A.thaliana, O.sativa japonica and V.vinifera in Ensembl Plants.

For further details regarding this release please visit:

We are pleased to announce the fourth release of Ensembl Genomes.

Ensembl Genomes is a companion project to Ensembl designed to provide access to genome scale data for non-chordate species of scientific interest.

Features of the new release include the addition of new databases for the bread mould Neurospora crassa to the Ensembl Fungi division, the slime mould Dictyostelium discoideum (built with the assistance of dictyBase) to Ensembl Protists, and the body louse Pediculus humanus (containing data provided by VectorBase) to Ensembl Metazoa.

The release also includes new variation databases for Drosophila melanogaster (using data from the Drosophila Population Genomics Project) and Plasmodium falciparum; the update of existing variation databases for Arabidopsis thaliana and Vitis vinifera in Ensembl Plants; and the addition of three new clades to Ensembl Bacteria.

Ensembl Genomes is available at