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1.  Genome Sequencing of Four Strains of Rickettsia prowazekii, the Causative Agent of Epidemic Typhus, Including One Flying Squirrel Isolate 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(3):e00399-13.
Rickettsia prowazekii is a notable intracellular pathogen, the agent of epidemic typhus, and a potential biothreat agent. We present here whole-genome sequence data for four strains of R. prowazekii, including one from a flying squirrel.
PMCID: PMC3695431  PMID: 23814035
2.  Genomic Comparison of Escherichia coli O104:H4 Isolates from 2009 and 2011 Reveals Plasmid, and Prophage Heterogeneity, Including Shiga Toxin Encoding Phage stx2 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e48228.
In May of 2011, an enteroaggregative Escherichia coli O104:H4 strain that had acquired a Shiga toxin 2-converting phage caused a large outbreak of bloody diarrhea in Europe which was notable for its high prevalence of hemolytic uremic syndrome cases. Several studies have described the genomic inventory and phylogenies of strains associated with the outbreak and a collection of historical E. coli O104:H4 isolates using draft genome assemblies. We present the complete, closed genome sequences of an isolate from the 2011 outbreak (2011C–3493) and two isolates from cases of bloody diarrhea that occurred in the Republic of Georgia in 2009 (2009EL–2050 and 2009EL–2071). Comparative genome analysis indicates that, while the Georgian strains are the nearest neighbors to the 2011 outbreak isolates sequenced to date, structural and nucleotide-level differences are evident in the Stx2 phage genomes, the mer/tet antibiotic resistance island, and in the prophage and plasmid profiles of the strains, including a previously undescribed plasmid with homology to the pMT virulence plasmid of Yersinia pestis. In addition, multiphenotype analysis showed that 2009EL–2071 possessed higher resistance to polymyxin and membrane-disrupting agents. Finally, we show evidence by electron microscopy of the presence of a common phage morphotype among the European and Georgian strains and a second phage morphotype among the Georgian strains. The presence of at least two stx2 phage genotypes in host genetic backgrounds that may derive from a recent common ancestor of the 2011 outbreak isolates indicates that the emergence of stx2 phage-containing E. coli O104:H4 strains probably occurred more than once, or that the current outbreak isolates may be the result of a recent transfer of a new stx2 phage element into a pre-existing stx2-positive genetic background.
PMCID: PMC3486847  PMID: 23133618
3.  DIYA: a bacterial annotation pipeline for any genomics lab 
Bioinformatics  2009;25(7):962-963.
Summary:DIYA (Do-It-Yourself Annotator) is a modular and configurable open source pipeline software, written in Perl, used for the rapid annotation of bacterial genome sequences. The software is currently used to take DNA contigs as input, either in the form of complete genomes or the result of shotgun sequencing, and produce an annotated sequence in Genbank file format as output.
Availability: Distribution and source code are available at (
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
PMCID: PMC2660880  PMID: 19254921
4.  The 2006 NESCent Phyloinformatics Hackathon: A Field Report 
In December, 2006, a group of 26 software developers from some of the most widely used life science programming toolkits and phylogenetic software projects converged on Durham, North Carolina, for a Phyloinformatics Hackathon, an intense five-day collaborative software coding event sponsored by the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent). The goal was to help researchers to integrate multiple phylogenetic software tools into automated workflows. Participants addressed deficiencies in interoperability between programs by implementing “glue code” and improving support for phylogenetic data exchange standards (particularly NEXUS) across the toolkits. The work was guided by use-cases compiled in advance by both developers and users, and the code was documented as it was developed. The resulting software is freely available for both users and developers through incorporation into the distributions of several widely-used open-source toolkits. We explain the motivation for the hackathon, how it was organized, and discuss some of the outcomes and lessons learned. We conclude that hackathons are an effective mode of solving problems in software interoperability and usability, and are underutilized in scientific software development.
PMCID: PMC2684128
phylogenetics; phyloinformatics; open source software; analysis workflow
5.  Gene functional similarity search tool (GFSST) 
BMC Bioinformatics  2006;7:135.
With the completion of the genome sequences of human, mouse, and other species and the advent of high throughput functional genomic research technologies such as biomicroarray chips, more and more genes and their products have been discovered and their functions have begun to be understood. Increasing amounts of data about genes, gene products and their functions have been stored in databases. To facilitate selection of candidate genes for gene-disease research, genetic association studies, biomarker and drug target selection, and animal models of human diseases, it is essential to have search engines that can retrieve genes by their functions from proteome databases. In recent years, the development of Gene Ontology (GO) has established structured, controlled vocabularies describing gene functions, which makes it possible to develop novel tools to search genes by functional similarity.
By using a statistical model to measure the functional similarity of genes based on the Gene Ontology directed acyclic graph, we developed a novel Gene Functional Similarity Search Tool (GFSST) to identify genes with related functions from annotated proteome databases. This search engine lets users design their search targets by gene functions.
An implementation of GFSST which works on the UniProt (Universal Protein Resource) for the human and mouse proteomes is available at GFSST Web Server. GFSST provides functions not only for similar gene retrieval but also for gene search by one or more GO terms. This represents a powerful new approach for selecting similar genes and gene products from proteome databases according to their functions.
PMCID: PMC1421445  PMID: 16536867

Results 1-5 (5)