Nature Reviews Genetics 13, 329-342 (May 2012) | doi:10.1038/nrg3174

Article series: Study designs

A beginner's guide to eukaryotic genome annotation

Mark Yandell1 & Daniel Ence1  About the authors


The falling cost of genome sequencing is having a marked impact on the research community with respect to which genomes are sequenced and how and where they are annotated. Genome annotation projects have generally become small-scale affairs that are often carried out by an individual laboratory. Although annotating a eukaryotic genome assembly is now within the reach of non-experts, it remains a challenging task. Here we provide an overview of the genome annotation process and the available tools and describe some best-practice approaches.

Author affiliations

  1. Department of Human Genetics, Eccles Institute of Human Genetics, School of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-5330, USA.

Correspondence to: Mark Yandell1 Email:

Published online 18 April 2012