SGD Newsletter, December 2015

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About this newsletter:

This is the December 2015 issue of the SGD newsletter. The goal of this newsletter is to inform our users about new features in SGD and to foster communication within the yeast community. You can also subscribe to SGD's RSS feed to receive updates on SGD news:

Variant Viewer Now Available at SGD

Variant Viewer.png

We recently added a new tool to SGD called the Variant Viewer. You can use the Variant Viewer to compare the nucleotide and protein sequences of your favorite genes in twelve widely-used Saccharomyces cerevisiae genomes. This tool uses sequence data derived from SGD publication Song et al., 2015 to show alignments, similarity scores, and sequence variants for open reading frames (ORFs) from the different strains relative to the S288C reference genome.

To get started with the Variant Viewer check out our tutorial video. You can also read more about it in recent SGD paper Sheppard et al., 2015.

SGD’s 60-second Help Videos

SGD is actively expanding its library of short video tutorials to help you use various SGD tools and pages. Check out the latest new videos available for the following topics:

Videos are accessible via the SGD Video Tutorials page and through SGD's YouTube channel. If you have a great idea for a 60-second SGD help video, or would like to see a particular topic covered, feel free to contact us!

Research Spotlight (Blog Posts)

In case you missed them, here are some of the most popular Research Spotlights posted on our blog lately:

  • Yeast, the spam filter Turns out yeast can act as a pretty good spam filter. Hamza and colleagues put it to the test when they systematically screened for human genes that can replace their yeast equivalents, and went on to test the function of tumor-specific variants in several selected genes that maintain chromosome stability in S. cerevisiae.
  • Life Needs to be More Like a 1950’s Chevy Modern cars have a lot more bells and whistles than their older counterparts, but they just don’t seem to last as long! McCormick and coworkers showed a similar concept in their painstaking search through deletion strains were they found that many nonessential genes seem to shorten a yeast’s life.

SGD at the 27th International Conference on Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology (ICYGMB)


In September 2015 members of the SGD staff attended the 27th International Conference on Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology in Levico Terme, Trento, Italy. Several of our members presented posters on various current SGD projects:

Presenter Poster Title
Edith Wong
Integrating genome-wide datasets into the Saccharomyces Genome Database
Stacia Engel
Homology Curation at SGD: budding yeast as a model for eukaryotic biology
Giltae Song
Inferring genome variation patterns in Saccharomyces cerevisiae using the eukaryote pan-genome toolset

In addition to hosting an exhibit table where we got to interact with many of you, we were thrilled to have been given the opportunity to give an SGD workshop, Getting More Out of SGD, on the first day of the conference. The workshop featured exciting new data developments at SGD including new yeast-human functional complementation data, the new variant viewer, and new data in YeastMine. Your feedback is important to us, so we loved answering questions and hearing your comments at this well-attended workshop!

If you would like to see tweets from the conference, search #yeast2015 on Twitter.

Recent Publications from SGD Staff

  1. Sheppard TK, Hitz BC, Engel SR, Song G, Balakrishnan R, Binkley G, Costanzo MC, Dalusag KS, Demeter J, Hellerstedt ST, Karra K, Nash RS, Paskov KM, Skrzypek MS, Weng S, Wong ED, Cherry JM (2015). The Saccharomyces Genome Database Variant Viewer. Nucleic Acids Research. 2015 Nov 17; pii: gkv1250. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv1250. PMID: 26578556
  2. Reid BJ, Culotti JG, Nash RS, Pringle JR (2015). Forty-five years of cell-cycle genetics. Mol Biol Cell. 2015 Dec 1;26(24):4307-12. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E14-10-1484. PMID: 26628751

What else have we been up to lately?

In addition to at the International Conference on Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology, you may have seen SGD representatives at the following meetings:


  • Senior biocuration scientist Edith Wong attended the annual ASCB meeting in December 2015.
  • Senior biocuration scientists Marek Skrzypek and Maria Costanzo showcased SGD at the Cell Biology of Yeasts meeting in November at Cold Spring Harbor.
  • Project Manager Gail Binkley attended the Genome Informatics meeting in October at Cold Spring Harbor.
  • Senior biocuration scientist Rama Balakrishnan and PI Mike Cherry attended the GO Consortium meeting in Washington DC at the end of August.

Happy Holidays from SGD!

Snowflake 01.png

We want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family, friends and lab mates the best during the upcoming holidays. Stanford University will be closed for two weeks starting on December 21st, reopening on January 4th, 2016. Although SGD staff members will be taking time off, the website will be up and running throughout the winter break, and we will attempt to keep connected via email should you have any questions.

Upcoming Meetings

Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO, USA
January 8, 2016
Registration deadline extended: December 28, 2015
Sant Feliu de Guixols, Spain
June 11-16, 2016
Lisbon, Portugal
July 11-14, 2016
Orlando, FL, USA
July 13-17, 2016
Abstract deadline: March 23, 2016
Early registration deadline: March 23, 2016
Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center, Hyogo, Japan
September 11-15, 2016