A phenotype is the expression of an organism's genotype in an environment. Both variation in gene expression and changes in genetic makeup can result in different phenotypes in one environment; conversely, environmental variation can yield different phenotypes in genetically identical organisms.
Characterization of phenotypes is important for identifying medically important microbes, and many biotechnological applications depend on understanding phenotypes. Characterization of phenotypes resulting from genetic manipulation is an important means of determining protein function.
The Ontology of Microbial Phenotypes (OMP) is a controlled vocabulary that allows researchers to standardize the capture of phenotypic information to facilitate such research. Ontology files, annotations, and term requests for the OMP project are here at SourceForge. The OMP wiki, a web-based community resource to display microbial phenotypes and methods used to study them, is at microbialphenotypes.org.
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