Become aware of genome browser resources with this introductory tutorial. Genome browsers organize tremendous volumes of genome sequence data, adding context to genomic sequence with many types of annotations. Several major genome web browsers are widely used to search, retrieve, and display genome information for human and numerous other species. Here we introduce Ensembl, Map Viewer, UCSC Genome Browser, and the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) browser. We also introduce the GBrowse software system, which is the framework for many additional genome browsers. Biomedical researchers need to be aware of these resources and be able to access the data available within.

You will learn:

  • where to find these useful tools
  • an overview of the organization and display features
  • some guidance on how or why to choose a given browser for your research needs


This tutorial is a part of the tutorial group Genome Browsers. You might find the other tutorials in the group interesting:

Ensembl: Ensembl Genome Browser

Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG): IMG is a powerful community resource for the comparative analysis and annotation of microbial genome data.

GBrowse: GBrowse User Introductory Tutorial

Ensembl Legacy: Older version of Ensembl Genome Browser

Map Viewer: Map Viewer Genome Browser from NCBI


Genome Databases (euk) : Genomic databases or repositories primarily aimed at eukaryotic organisms. Some may contain prokaryotic data as well.

Genome Databases (prok + viral) : Genomic databases or repositories primarily aimed at prokaryotic or viral organisms. Some may contain eukaryotic data as well.


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Recent BioMed Central research articles citing this resource

Pousada Guillermo et al., Molecular and clinical analysis of TRPC6 and AGTR1 genes in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases (2015) doi:10.1186/s13023-014-0216-3

Zhang Li et al., The TLR7 agonist Imiquimod promote the immunogenicity of msenchymal stem cells. Biological Research (2015) doi:10.1186/0717-6287-48-6

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Chen Dongquan et al., Gene expression profile of human lung epithelial cells chronically exposed to single-walled carbon nanotubes. Nanoscale Research Letters (2015) doi:10.1186/s11671-014-0707-0

Gerek Z Nevin et al., Evolutionary Diagnosis of non-synonymous variants involved in differential drug response Selected articles from the 2nd International Genomic Medicine Conference (IGMC 2013): Medical Genomics 2nd International Genomic Medicine Conference (IGMC 2013). BMC Medical Genomics (2015) doi:10.1186/1755-8794-8-S1-S6