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Biologist enhances use of bioinformatic tools and achieves precision in genetic annotation
Date:1/15/2009

Jos Luis Lavn Trueba, a graduate in biology and biochemistry from the University of Salamanca (Spain) and currently collaborator in the Genetic and Microbiology Research Group at the Public University of Navarre, has enhanced the use of bioinformatic tools for the identification and annotation of certain fungal and bacterial genes.

In concrete, for his PhD thesis, "Strategies for the comparative genomic study of microorganisms with various levels of pregenomic information and genic complexity", Dr Lavin used an emerging discipline: bioinformatics. By using informatics tools for studying sequences of DNA and proteins, he managed to generate databases for the genetic diversity of various organisms.

Jos Luis Lavn's thesis has two differentiated parts which have in common the design of an enhanced technique of bioinformatic analysis that enables a greater degree of precision in the results. Thus, the first part of his work involved the study of bacteria, comparing genomes (the total set of genes in an organism) of pathogenic bacteria the cause of illnesses , both animal and vegetable. Through the comparison of genic sequences, gene candidates responsible for the infection process are detected. As the researcher himself explains, "We used very similar bacteria and looked for differences between them. In one study, we took a plant pathogen (Pseudomonas syringae) that attacks a number of crops such as bean, soya, tomato; in another we used various genomes of the causal agent for brucellosis (the Brucella genus), given that each variety of this bacteria attacks one type of animal breed specifically. In each case what was common was recorded and we have annotated what differentiated them". These results are available to other research teams specialising in the treatment of bacteria so that they can use these target genes and, through mutations or simply by deactivating them, it can be seen if, effectively, they are responsible for plagues and illnesses and, t
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Contact: Oihane Lakar
oihane@elhuyar.com
0034-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

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