Genomics and phenomics are two fundamentally important branches of biological sciences, and they stand at both ends of the multiple “omics” families. A central goal of current biology is to establish complete functional links between the genome and phenome, the so-called genotype–phenotype map. Recent advances in high-throughput and high-dimensional genotyping and phenotyping technologies enable us to uncover the casual networks inside the “black box” that lies between genotypes and phenotypes using the principles of genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Application of GWAS and analogous methodologies and incorporation of multiple omics data begin to unravel the contribution of genetic variation to phenotypic diversity. Integrating “omics” data at broad levels by using the systems-biology approach is paramount to further bridging the gaps between genomics and phenomics and eventually making accurate predictions of phenotypes based on genetic contribution.
School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University
Nanjing 210023, China