I have a computer engineering background, not biology.

I started working on a bioinformatics project recently, which involves de-novo assembly. I came to know the terms Transcriptome and Genome, but I cannot identify the difference between these two.

I know a transcriptome is the set of all messenger RNA molecules in a cell, but am not sure how this is different from a genome.

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    $\begingroup$ What information have you researched ? Did Wikipedia pages of Transcriptome and Genome helped you? If not where they didn't help you $\endgroup$
    – llrs
    May 17, 2017 at 8:04
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    $\begingroup$ This is a rather basic question and I don't think it's a good one for the site, in the message from stack exchange it says "if you ask beginner questions, survey questions, or social-conversation questions, experts and pros will not be interested" $\endgroup$ May 17, 2017 at 8:04
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    $\begingroup$ This is not a bioinformatics question, this is a terminology question and needs to be be better framed. The approaches to transcriptome and genome de novo assembly would be accceptable, but this is a question for Google. $\endgroup$
    – user192
    May 17, 2017 at 8:12
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    $\begingroup$ You can vote to close the question $\endgroup$
    – llrs
    May 17, 2017 at 8:27

2 Answers 2


In brief, the “genome” is the collection of all DNA present in the nucleus and the mitochondria of a somatic cell. The initial product of genome expression is the “transcriptome”, a collection of RNA molecules derived from those genes.

  • $\begingroup$ If you want to learn more about relationships between these terms, see this Wikipedia page. $\endgroup$ May 17, 2017 at 5:37
  • $\begingroup$ This is a good concise answer. $\endgroup$
    – EMiller
    Jun 2, 2017 at 3:26

They are two very different things. Your genome is a large section of about 3 billion DNA nucleotide bases. It has no concept of exon and introns.

Transcriptome is a study of transcriptions. You have introns and exons. We can now talk about alternative splicing and gene expression.

You can think your genome is like a cooking recipe. While it's good to have a good recipe, you can't do much if you don't use it for cooking.

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    $\begingroup$ I like to compare the genome with the cookbook, the transcriptome with your shopping lists, the proteome with your groceries. $\endgroup$ Apr 4, 2019 at 8:02
  • $\begingroup$ wouldn't the proteome be the cooked food? $\endgroup$
    – CelineDion
    Apr 8, 2022 at 18:32

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