GELect: Automated genotyping tool from DNA gel electrophoresis images

DNA gel electrophoresis is a molecular biology technique for separating different sizes of DNA fragments. Applications of DNA gel electrophoresis include DNA fingerprinting (genetic diagnosis), size estimation of DNA, and DNA separation for Southern blotting. Accurate interpretation of DNA banding patterns from electrophoretic images can be laborious and error prone when a large number of bands are interrogated manually. Although many bio-imaging techniques have been proposed, none of them can fully automate the typing of DNA owing to the complexities of migration patterns typically obtained.

Scientists developed a convenient program for DNA diagnosis from 1D gel electrophoresis image and named it GELect. With a novel automated image processing workflow, GELect can accurately segment lanes from a gel matrix, intelligently extract distorted and even doublet bands that are difficult to identify by existing image processing tools. Consequently, genotyping from DNA gel electrophoresis can be performed automatically allowing users to efficiently conduct large scale DNA fingerprinting via DNA gel electrophoresis. The software is freely available from

This work is a collaborative effort among scientists from BIOTEC, NECTEC and Thammasat University.


Ref: Intarapanich, A., Kaewkamnerd, S., Shaw, P.J., Ukosakit, K., Tragoonrung, S. and Tongsima, S. (2015). Automatic DNA Diagnosis for 1D Gel Electrophoresis Images using Bio-image Processing Technique. BMC Genomics, 16 (Suppl 12): S15


Posted on 11 February 2016.