Exploring genomic regions in Ensembl, Demo
Start at the Ensembl Metazoa front page, metazoa.ensembl.org. You can search for a region by typing it into a search box, but you have to specify the species.
Select Anopheles gambiae from the search drop-down and type (or copy and paste) _3L:17000000-17100000 _into the search box:
Press Enter or click Go to jump directly to the Region in detail Page.
Click on the button to view page-specific help. The help pages provide text, labelled images and, in some cases, help videos to describe what you can see on the page and how to interact with it.
The Region in detail page is made up of three images, let’s look at each one on detail.
The first image shows the chromosome:
You can jump to a different region by dragging out a box in this image. Drag out a box on the chromosome, a pop-up menu will appear.
If you wanted to move to the region, you could click on Jump to region (### bp). If you wanted to highlight it, click on Mark region (###bp). For now, we’ll close the pop-up by clicking on the X on the corner.
The second image shows a 150 kb region (the size varies per genome and depends on the gene size and density) around our selected region. This view allows you to scroll back and forth along the chromosome.
You can also drag out and jump to or mark a region.
Click on the X to close the pop-up menu.
Click on the Drag/Select button to change the action of your mouse click. Now you can scroll along the chromosome by clicking and dragging within the image. As you do this you’ll see the image below grey out and two blue buttons appear. Clicking on Update this image would jump the lower image to the region central to the scrollable image. We want to go back to where we started, so we’ll click on Reset scrollable image.
The third image is a detailed, configurable view of the region.
Click on the Drag/Select option at the top or bottom right to switch mouse action. On Drag, you can click and drag left or right to move along the genome, the page will reload when you drop the mouse button. On Select you can drag out a box to highlight or zoom in on a region of interest.
With the tool set to Select, drag out a box around an exon and choose Mark region.
The highlight will remain in place if you zoom in and out or move around the region. This allows you to keep track of regions or features of interest.
We can edit what we see on this page by clicking on the blue Configure this page menu at the left.
This will open a menu that allows you to change the image.
You can put some tracks on in different styles; more details are in this FAQ: http://www.ensembl.org/Help/Faq?id=335
Let’s add some tracks to this image. Add:
- Anophelinae proteins - Labels
- VBP0000163 variants - Normal
Now click on the tick in the top left hand to save and close the menu. Alternatively, click anywhere outside of the menu. We can now see the tracks in the image.
We can also change the way the tracks appear by hovering over the track name then the cog wheel to open a menu. We can move tracks around by clicking and dragging on the bar to the left of the track name.
Now that you’ve got the view how you want it, you might like to show something you’ve found to a colleague or collaborator. Click on the Share this page button to generate a link. Email the link to someone else, so that they can see the same view as you, including all the tracks you’ve added. These links contain the Ensembl release number, so if a new release or even assembly comes out, your link will just take you to the archive site for the release it was made on.
To return this to the default view, go to Configure this page and select Reset configuration at the bottom of the menu.