Standard Article

Gene Families

  1. Alex Bateman1,
  2. William Mifsud2

Published Online: 23 SEP 2005

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0005045



How to Cite

Bateman, A. and Mifsud, W. 2005. Gene Families. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK

  2. 2

    University of Malta Medical School, Guardamangia, Malta

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 SEP 2005


The multitude of genes fall into a much smaller number of gene families. An understanding of gene families allows their evolutionary history to be traced and allows experimental results from one gene to be transferred to other related genes.


  • sequence alignment;
  • domain;
  • gene duplication;
  • sequence similarity;
  • alignment;
  • phylogenetic tree