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Uniform language for describing genes of pathogenic and beneficial microbes

mmon set of terms to describe genes of pathogenic and beneficial microbes as well as the organisms they come into contact with is a critical step in understanding host-microbe-environment interactions. By providing a precise vocabulary for the functions of these genes, scientists can compare among microbes the many processes that make up the interplay between a microbe and its host.?

Dr. Tyler added: “PAMGO started out with the goal of creating terms to describe how microbes interact with plants. However, we quickly realized that almost all the terms were relevant to microbes that interact with animals and humans, and the response from researchers that study human and animal diseases has been very enthusiastic.?

"A common set of terms for the exchange of information about microbe-host interactions will help researchers communicate information, and expand concepts from the studies of microbes and their hosts," said Maryanna Henkart, Director of the National Science Foundation's Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences.

João Setubal, Deputy Director of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and one of the scientists on the project, commented “When the PAMGO project began, many GO terms existed for describing biological functions and processes found in microbes, but very few for describing the functions used by microbes in their associations with hosts.?

Trudy Torto-Alalibo, PAMGO Project Coordinator, remarked: “The GO Consortium has been set up in a way that allows all users to actively contribute to the ongoing refinement of the terms. When a scientist submits a new term to PAMGO it enables the entire community to participate in synthesizing a common understanding of how microbes associate with hosts. This is a tremendous open-source resource and a powerful way to advance our understanding of host-pathogen relationships.?

Michelle Gwinn-Giglio, Staff Scientist at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) and a sen
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Source:Virginia Tech


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