The Ensembl REST API: Ensembl Data for Any Language

Bioinformatics. 2015 Jan 1;31(1):143-5. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btu613. Epub 2014 Sep 17.


Motivation: We present a Web service to access Ensembl data using Representational State Transfer (REST). The Ensembl REST server enables the easy retrieval of a wide range of Ensembl data by most programming languages, using standard formats such as JSON and FASTA while minimizing client work. We also introduce bindings to the popular Ensembl Variant Effect Predictor tool permitting large-scale programmatic variant analysis independent of any specific programming language.

Availability and implementation: The Ensembl REST API can be accessed at and source code is freely available under an Apache 2.0 license from

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Programming Languages*
  • Software*