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DOE JGI launches IMG public online microbial genome data clearinghouse

As the microbial world comes to light through DNA sequencing, the new Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) data management system of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) will deliver valuable information for the benefit of the global research community.

"The IMG system is an essential enhancement to the computational toolkit supported by DOE," said Dr. Aristides A. Patrinos, Associate Director for Environmental and Biological Research of the DOE Office of Science. "IMG responds to the urgent need of handling the vast and growing spectrum of datasets emerging from genome projects taken on by the DOE JGI and other public DNA sequencing centers. It is our hope that the IMG system will enable our scientists to tap the rich diversity of microbial environments and harness the possibilities that they hold for addressing challenges in environmental cleanup, medicine, agriculture, industrial processes, and alternative energy production."

The DOE JGI is currently producing nearly one-quarter of the number of microbial genome projects worldwide, more than any other single institution. The IMG system currently features over 200 organisms, with an additional 200 already in the queue for 2005. The release of IMG, accessible to the public at http://img.jgi.doe.gov/, is the result of a collaboration between the DOE JGI and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Biological Data Management and Technology Center (BDMTC).

"As the number of microbial genomes sequenced continues to rise, the genome analysis process becomes the rate-limiting step," said DOE JGI Director Eddy Rubin. "By integrating publicly available microbial genome sequence with DOE JGI sequences, the IMG system offers a powerful data management platform that supports timely analysis of genomes from a comparative functional and evolutionary perspective."

"IMG's primary goal is to provide high-quality data in a comprehensible system that is diverse in terms of the
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Source:DOE/Joint Genome Institute


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