Review of Ensembl Genome Server

Title: Ensembl Genome Server


Date Reviewed: 05/04/06


Description: The Ensembl ( project provides a comprehensive and integrated source of annotation of large genome sequences with free access. The project is primarily funded by the Wellcome Trust. Ensembl annotates known genes and predicts new ones, with functional annotation from InterPro, OMIM, SAGE and gene families. It presents up-to-date sequence data and the best possible automatic annotation for eukaryotic genomes. Available now are human, mouse, rat, pufferfish, zebrafish, and mosquito. Over the last year the number of genomes available from the Ensembl site has increased by 7 to 16, with the addition of the six vertebrate genomes of chimpanzee, dog, cow, chicken, tetraodon and frog and the insect genome of honeybee. The current version is v38.Ensembl provides easy access to sequence data and predicts structure and location in the genome sequence for known and novel genes. Searching is possible through a wide variety of ways including text searches, sequence or location and sets of pre-defined filters. Individual chromosomes may be browsed and a vast array of data displays are provided. Data mining, blast searches and comparative genomic and proteomic searches are also enabled.


Strengths: Comprehensive and user friendly interface. The ëHelpí page is a great resource.


Weaknesses: Massive in scope, ordinary users should get familiar with a few features the use frequently for their research.


Comprehensiveness: Extensive

Timeliness: Every month


Ease of Use: Not immediately intuitive and requires a reasonable degree of persistence


Responsiveness: Data displays can be slow in loading.


Similar or Related Sites: UCSC Genome Bioinformatics

Overall Evaluation: * * * * *  (1 to 5 stars)

Reviewer: Madhumathi Rao