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Retrieve an Entire Genome & Retrieval of SARS-CoV-2 Viral Genome

How to Retrieve an Entire Genome & Retri



In Bioinformatics, a genome browser is a graphical interface for display of information from a biological database for genomic data. Genome Browser can also be used to retrieve biological data. We will retrieve SARS-CoV-2 Viral Genome.  


  • Go to the ‘Genome Browser’ which you can access here

  • Search for ‘SARS-CoV-2' in the search bar. 

  • The information page of the SARS-CoV-2 will be displayed. 

  • Scroll down this page, you will see there are many options available to download an entire sequence and annotation data. 

  • From those options, first click on the ‘Data use Condition and Restriction’, which would open up the terms and conditions’ page, and give it a read. 


   Retrieve through an Editor 

  • Now, go back and select the ‘Using FTP’ and it will open up the directory which contains folders (bigzips, chromosomes, database) 

  • If you go to ‘BigZips’, where you can access individual chromosomes such as MaskedChromosoms. 

  • There’s a file named ‘ReadMe’, which is a text file, containing the information of the directory you are in. 

  • Go back to the ‘Parent Directory’

  • Click on the ‘Chromosomes’ folder, which contains the ‘.gz’ file and is named by the NCBI’s genome accession number (it holds the entire Genome of SARS-CoV-2). 

  • Click on this ‘.gy’ file and download it. 

  • Drag the downloaded file to any editor e.g. Visual Studio Code. 

  • You can visualize the entire genome sequence on the editor and further use it for your analysis. 

   Retrieve through BASH       

  • Copy the link of the ‘.gz’ file. 

  • Go to the BASH if you have a Linux computer. 

  • Firstly, to get the file, type ‘wget’ followed by the link of the file. 

  • It will retrieve the file. 

  • Now, to unzip the file, type ‘gunzip NC*’ 

  • And in the next line, ‘Is’

  • It will find the file and display the name of the file. 

  • Now, type ‘cat NC* | head – n 50’, it will display the first 50 lines of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Sequence. 

   Note: Make sure you have WinRAR installed in your computer, so the file can be unzipped. 



In this video, we got to see how to retrieve an entire genome by using SARS-CoV-2 as an example. We got to see how to retrieve the genome through two different Operating System; through Windows and through Linux.

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