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University of Waterloo researchers have developed a powerful new online tool that allows users to navigate through an interactive microbial tree of life, and to generate new scientific hypotheses and discoveries.
By integrating data across thousands of microbial genomes, "AnnoTree" provides a comprehensive framework for exploring the evolution of microbial genes and functions, and can be used to advance research across a wide range of industries including microbiology, biotechnology, industrial products, biofuels, and food science.
Understanding - Gene - Function - Diversity - Microbes
Increased understanding of gene function and diversity in microbes can lead to the identification of important biological phenomena, including the spread of antibiotic resistance, the evolution of bacterial pathogens, the origin of new gene families, and instances of gene transfer between specific bacterial genomes. AnnoTree is freely available at annotree.uwaterloo.ca.
"Genomics has greatly expanded our understanding of the tree of life, but what a lot of researchers ultimately want to know is how specific genes and biological functions are distributed on the tree. While previously this type of analysis could take a substantial amount of time and effort, with AnnoTree it takes minutes or seconds," said Prof. Andrew Doxey, a bioinformatician at the University of Waterloo and member of the Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research (WCMR).
AnnoTree - Interface - Users
Through AnnoTree's Web-based interface, users...
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