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New Online Tutorials for IMG, IMG/M, NCBI Viral Genomes and VBRC

Comprehensive tutorials on the publicly available IMG, IMG/M, NCBI Viral Genomes and VBRC databases enable researchers to quickly and effectively use these invaluable resources.

Seattle, WA (PRWEB) October 26, 2009 -- OpenHelix today announced the availability of new tutorial suites on Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG), Integrated Microbial Genomes with Microbiome Samples (IMG/M), NCBI Viral Genomes and Viral Bioinformatics Resource Center (VBRC). IMG is a data management platform for analyzing microbial genomes sequenced by the Joint Genome Institute (JGI) of the U.S. Department of Energy and including global public information resources. IMG/M provides tools for analyzing the functional capability of microbial communities based on their metagenome sequence, in the context of reference isolate genomes included from IMG systems.

NCBI Viral Genomes is a web portal for exploring the sequences of completed viral genomes and is fully integrated with other NCBI databases, such as GenBank, PubMed, and Taxonomy. VBRC is a public resource that contains the most comprehensive and current information regarding genetic and molecular biology for Category A, B, and C priority pathogens.

The tutorial suites, available for single purchase or through a low-priced annual subscription to all OpenHelix tutorials, contain an online, narrated, multi-media tutorial, which runs in just about any browser connected to the web, along with slides with full script, handouts and exercises. These tutorials will teach users:


  • how to search for genes by keyword or by sequence
  • to identify phylogenetically related genes from several species
  • to follow links to various information ranging from protein functions to taxonomic lineages

  • how to analyze the diversity and abundance of the microbes in a community
  • how to examine the relative abundance of various protein families in a microbial community
  • how to use tools for functional comparisons of genomes

NCBI Viral Genomes
  • how to search for virus information via species, genome sequences, taxonomy, and proteins
  • to understand detailed summary reports about viral genomes
  • how to use analytical and visualization tools for comparative studies
  • to navigate to additional NCBI and non-NCBI viral resources

  • to perform similarity searches ortholog comparisons
  • to quickly isolate genome- or ortholog-specific sequence data
  • to perform DNA and amino acid alignments and homology searches
  • to create graphical representations of DNA and amino acid sequence data

With the tutorials, researchers can quickly learn to effectively and efficiently use these resources. The scripts, handouts and other materials can also be used as a reference or for training others. To find out more about these and over 80 other tutorial suites visit the OpenHelix Catalog and OpenHelix. Or visit the OpenHelix blog for up-to-date information on genomics and genomics resources.

About OpenHelix
OpenHelix, LLC, ( provides the genomics knowledge you need when you need it. OpenHelix provides online self-run tutorials and on-site training for institutions and companies on the most powerful and popular free, web-based, publicly accessible bioinformatics resources. In addition, OpenHelix is contracted by resource providers to provide comprehensive, long-term training and outreach programs. OpenHelix recently launched the OpenHelix Search & Learn web portal which directs scientists to the most relevant publicly available bioinformatics and genomics resources on the web, and then gives them immediate access to tutorials, training materials, and useful tips and information developed by OpenHelix.


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