Plant Bioinformatics

Bioinformatics encompasses the development and application of software tools to aid the understanding of biological functions and data, while systems biology involves mathematical and computational modelling of biological systems and functions for simplified representation, understanding and documentation. Bioinformatics incorporates and applies the theoretical and practical knowledge of statistics, mathematics, computer science, engineering and biology and allows in silico analysis of biological data and computerised interpretation of that data for future applications. On the other hand systems biology utilises the persisting knowledge on functioning of signalling pathways, metabolic networks and genetic sequences for the furtherance of scientific research and application. The Human Genome Project is the most important contribution of systems biology in the last hundred years.

Bioinformatics has become an important part of many areas of biology. In experimental molecular biology, bioinformatics techniques such as image and signal processing allow extraction of useful results from large amounts of raw data. In the field of genetics and genomics, it aids in sequencing and annotating genomes and their observed mutations. It plays a role in the text mining of biological literature and the development of biological and gene ontologies to organize and query biological data. It also plays a role in the analysis of gene and protein expression and regulation. Bioinformatics tools aid in the comparison of genetic and genomic data and more generally in the understanding of evolutionary aspects of molecular biology. At a more integrative level, it helps analyse and catalogue the biological pathways and networks that are an important part of systems biology. In structural biology, it aids in the simulation and modeling of DNA, RNA, proteins as well as bio molecular interactions.

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