In 2007 the US National Human Genome Research Institute ( NHGRI ) provided funding for the GENCODE sub-project, part of a programme to expand the ENCylcopedia Of DNA Elements ( ENCODE ) project. In 2013, after successfully delivering the definitive annotation of functional elements in the human genome, the GENCODE group was awarded a second grant to continue their human genome annotation work and expand GENCODE to include annotation of the mouse genome.
The aim of GENCODE is to annotate all evidence-based gene features in the entire human and mouse genomes at a high accuracy. The result will be a set of annotations including all protein-coding loci with alternatively transcribed variants, non-coding loci with transcript evidence and pseudogenes. The process to create this annotation involves manual curation, different computational analysis and targeted experimental approaches. Putative loci can be verified by wet-lab experiments and computational predictions are analysed manually.
The international team working in the GENCODE project is headed by Jennifer Harrow at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and includes members from EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute, Centre de RegulacióGenòmica (CRG), Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), The University of Lausanne, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University and The University of California, Santa Cruz.