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.
Keywords: Bacterial virulence factor identification, bioinformatics tools, 3D structure prediction, protein function prediction, protein interaction prediction, sequence alignments.