The graphics show a portion of a pair of protein sequences, which have been compared on your computer or device in the form of “letter codes”. The letters (A, R, N, D, C, E, Q, G, H, I, L, K, M, F, P, S, T, W, Y, V) represent the twenty types of amino acid molecules that are assembled in a chain to form the protein molecule. The matching letters in the two protein sequences are highlighted.
When sequences match, it means that the unknown organism produces a protein that is similar to a more well-known protein. This can indicate that the two proteins have similar functions, and give scientists a head start in understanding the unknown organism.