A Flood of Microbial Genomes–Do We Need More?
Pathogen Biology Laboratory, Department of Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India. * E-mail: [email protected]
PLoS ONE 4(6): e5831. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005831. [An open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License]
Editor: Jason E. Stajich, University of California, Berkeley, United States of America
Funding: Research in Ahmed laboratory is funded by grants from the Department of Biotechnology of the Indian Government and support from the University of Hyderabad under OBC/XI-Plan and UoH-DBT CREBB funds. The School of Life Sciences at the University of Hyderabad has been recognized as ‘Centre of Advanced Studies’ and supported under SAP program (UGC-SAP-CAS-I) of the University Grants Commission (India). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Complete genome sequences of important bacterial pathogens and industrial organisms hold significant consequences and opportunities for human health, industry and the environment. Addressing biological and clinical problems through genome sequence based approaches offers many commercial opportunities. The aftermath of whole genome sequencing has revealed new insights into evolution of bacterial lifestyles including strategies for adaptation to new niches and overcoming competitors. Whole genome sequences representing more than 1500 prokaryotic organisms combined with the dozens (to hundreds) of strain re-sequencing projects are posing mind boggling problems on the optimal utilization of the resultant ‘omic’ datasets. Consequently, microbiologists are confronted with the challenge to translate these data into better human and animal healthcare solutions and pursue basic research approaches to interpret the data in ecological and evolutionary perspectives. New informatic approaches towards optimal utilization, holistic integration and meaningful interpretation of the genome sequence data are extremely necessary.