Bioinformatics: A Molecular Microbiologist’s Perspective
Sílvia A. Sousa, Joana R. Feliciano, Andre M. Grilo and Jorge H. Leitao
Affiliation: IBB-Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre for Biological and Chemical Engineering, Department of Bioengineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal.
Keywords: Bacterial virulence factor identification, bioinformatics tools, 3D structure prediction, protein function prediction,
protein interaction prediction, sequence alignments.
Research activities in the area of biological sciences, and particularly molecular microbiology, nowadays
generate vast amounts of data. The development of faster and cheaper sequencing methods has definitively contributed to
this huge amount of data, requiring the development of fast and reliable tools for their analysis. In the last years, many
easy-to-use, reliable and powerful bioinformatics tools have been developed. In this work, we review the fundamentals of
some of these tools, and describe how we have been using them to analyze data resulting from our research envisaging the
identification and characterization of virulence factors and determinants from the human opportunistic pathogens of the
Burkholderia cepacia complex. Examples given illustrate the user-friendly characteristic of these tools and their power
both in analyzing information and in orientating future experimental work.
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