Synthetic genetic interactions occur between two genes when the double mutant displays a phenotype much more severe than does either single mutant alone. Global networks of such interactions are now being systematically determined, spearheaded by the budding yeast genome. Genetic interactions reflect in vivo relationships between gene products. Extracting that functional information from such genetic networks is now possible by exploiting and modifying the key concept of congruence. Here, we focus on synthetic genetic interactions between pairs of null mutations in non-essential yeast genes. We summarize how to identify biological pathways from these emerging networks, using illustrative examples.

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