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Research Article

Vol. 7 No. 2 (2004)

Annotating the Mycobacterium avium Genome: A Project in Bioinformatics

  • David D. Shersher
  • Maksim Kirtsman
  • Mikael Katz-Lavigne
  • Marcel A. Behr, MD MSc
  • Makeda Semret , MD MSc
October 27, 2020


Bioinformatic tools facilitate efficient processing and formatting of experimental data and are becoming essential to research in the biological sciences. Whole genome sequencing projects, combined with DNA microarray technology, have allowed genomic comparisons between and within species of microorganisms. The genome of Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium (MAA) has been sequenced by The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), but a final and annotated version has not yet been made available. The goal of this project was to annotate the sequence of MAA as a foundation for microarray-based genomic comparisons. We used software to identify and predict open reading frames (ORFs) present in this organism. The ORFs were then compared to those catalogued in two large, online genetic databases for other microorganisms and matched to homologous sequences, allowing the determination of putative functions for each predicted gene. The genome of MAA was determined to contain 4480 genes, the majority of which are homologous to genes found in other Mycobacterial species.


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