Advances in On-Line Resources for Microbial Research
Substantial bioinformatics capabilities are required for systems biology approaches to solve DOE mission-related research problems in bioenergy and the environment. This is particularly true when microbiology is involved, as new technologies are generating vast amounts of data. DOE efforts to meet the scientific need for database systems are highlighted in the latest issue of Nucleic Acids Research. These include:
MicrobesOnLine (A. Arkin, Joint Bioenergy Institute and LBNL), a resource to integrate experimental data with genomic sequence data to understand microbial evolution and compare microbial functions under varied experimental conditions;
MiST2 (I. Zhulin, BioEnergy Science Center), which catalogs signalling proteins;
RegPrecise (D. Rodionov, LBNL), which catalogs transcription factor genes and will assist our understanding of cellular activity; and
IMG (N. Kyrpides, Joint Genome Institute), the Integrated Microbial Genomes resource provides new tools such as phylogenetic tools for comparative genomic analysis.
Taken together, these bioinformatics resources are leading to a more complete systems biological framework for microbial studies.
Nucleic Acids Research. January 2010, Vol. 38.