WALNUT CREEK, CA -- As interest in the rising number of newly characterized microbial genomes mounts, powerful computational tools become critical for the management and analysis of these data to enable strategies for such challenges as harvesting the potential of carbon-neutral bioenergy sources and coping with global climate change.
The Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) data management system developed by the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) addresses this challenge with the release of version 2.1. Released on the two-year anniversary of its launch, the content of IMG 2.1 is updated with new microbial genomes from National Center for Biotechnology Informations (NCBI) Reference Sequence collection (RefSeq) latest release, Version 21. Other enhancements feature model eukaryotic genomes, including several well-characterized yeast species, and plasmids, the double-stranded circular DNA molecules independent of any sequenced microbessignificantly expanding the utility of the system for comparative genome analysis.
"Over two very productive years the community has adopted IMG as a mainstay genome analysis tool and have supported and contributed to the continuous growth and improvement of the system," said Nikos Kyrpides, head of DOE JGIs Genome Biology program and IMGs scientific lead.
In the last year alone, IMGs contribution has been cited dozens of publications. Recently, an article in the Journal of Bacteriology (2007 Mar;189:2477-86), featured research led by Kyrpides, Athanasios Lykidis, and other DOE JGI colleagues in which the genome sequence of Thermobifida fusca, a soil bacterium that is a major degrader of plant cell walls was generated and analyzed. Thermobifida has been used as a model organism for the study of secreted, heat-stable cellulases. These cellulases are among the growing portfolio of enzymes being explored for their potential to be incorporated into industrial-scale processes fo
Contact: David Gilbert
DOE/Joint Genome Institute