Description: The exponential increase of genomic and metagenomic data,fueled in part by recent advancements in sequencing technology, aregreatly expanding our understanding of the phylogenetic diversity andmetabolic capacity present in the environment. Two of the centralchallenges that bioinformaticians and ecologists alike must face are thedesign of bioinformatic resources that facilitate the analysis of genomicand metagenomic data in a comparative context and the efficient captureand organization of the plethora of descriptive information required tousefully describe these data sets. In this commentary, we review threeinitiatives presented in the "new frontiers" session of the second SCOPEmeeting on Microbial Environmental Genomics (MicroEnGen-II, Shanghai,June 12-15, 2006). These are (1) the Integrated Microbial GenomesResources (IMG), (2) the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC), and (3) theNatural Environment Research Council (NERC) Environmental BioinformaticsCentre (NEBC). These integrative bioinformatics and data managementinitiatives underscore the increasingly important role ecologists have toplay in the genomic (metagenomic) revolution.
Date: July 1, 2006
Creator: Field, Dawn; Methe, Barbara; Nelson, Karen & Kyrpides, Nikos
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