Getting Started

(Difference between revisions)
Jump to: navigation, search
(Beginners: Added educational PLoS paper on Biopython.)
m (Reverted edits by Jennifer M. Lintz (Talk) to last revision by Sbassi)
(One intermediate revision by one user not shown)

Revision as of 12:24, 2 July 2010


Download and Installation

For Windows we provide click-and-run installers. Most Linux distributions will include an optional Biopython package (although this may be out of date). Otherwise you typically download and uncompress the archive, and install from source. See our downloads page for details including the prerequisites.

You can check your installation has worked at the python prompt:

>>> import Bio

If that gives no error, you should be done. If you get something like "ImportError: No module named Bio" something has gone wrong.


The Biopython Tutorial and Cookbook (HTML, PDF) contains the bulk of our documentation. See Documentation for more links.

Quick example

Try executing this in python:

from Bio.Seq import Seq
#create a sequence object
my_seq = Seq('CATGTAGACTAG')
#print out some details about it
print 'seq %s is %i bases long' % (my_seq, len(my_seq))
print 'reverse complement is %s' % my_seq.reverse_complement()
print 'protein translation is %s' % my_seq.translate()

You should get the following output:

seq CATGTAGACTAG is 12 bases long
reverse complement is CTAGTCTACATG
protein translation is HVD*

This was a very quick demonstration of Biopython's Seq (sequence) object and some of its methods.

Reading and writing Sequence Files

Use the SeqIO module for reading or writing sequences as SeqRecord objects. For multiple sequence alignment files, you can alternatively use the AlignIO module.


  • Examine the Class Diagram if you'd like to know more about the relationships between the modules.

Further reading

  • Use the Wiki Search tools to find more information on specific topics.
Personal tools