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MetaLook: a 3D visualisation software for marine ecological genomics


Lombardot, Thierry; Kottmann, Renzo; Giuliani, Gregory; de Bono, Andrea; Addor, Nans; Glöckner, Frank O (2007). MetaLook: a 3D visualisation software for marine ecological genomics. BMC Bioinformatics, 8:406.

Abstract

Background Marine ecological genomics can be defined as the application of genomic sciences to understand the structure and function of marine ecosystems. In this field of research, the analysis of genomes and metagenomes of environmental relevance must take into account the corresponding habitat (contextual) data, e.g. water depth, physical and chemical parameters. The creation of specialised software tools and databases is requisite to allow this new kind of integrated analysis. Results We implemented the MetaLook software for visualisation and analysis of marine ecological genomic and metagenomic data with respect to habitat parameters. MetaLook offers a three-dimensional user interface to interactively visualise DNA sequences on a world map, based on a centralised georeferenced database. The user can define environmental containers to organise the sequences according to different habitat criteria. To find similar sequences, the containers can be queried with either genes from the georeferenced database or user-imported sequences, using the BLAST algorithm. This allows an interactive assessment of the distribution of gene functions in the environment. Conclusion MetaLook allows scientists to investigate sequence data in their environmental context and to explore correlations between genes and habitat parameters. This software is a step towards the creation of specialised tools to study constrained distributions and habitat specificity of genes correlated with specific processes.

Abstract

Background Marine ecological genomics can be defined as the application of genomic sciences to understand the structure and function of marine ecosystems. In this field of research, the analysis of genomes and metagenomes of environmental relevance must take into account the corresponding habitat (contextual) data, e.g. water depth, physical and chemical parameters. The creation of specialised software tools and databases is requisite to allow this new kind of integrated analysis. Results We implemented the MetaLook software for visualisation and analysis of marine ecological genomic and metagenomic data with respect to habitat parameters. MetaLook offers a three-dimensional user interface to interactively visualise DNA sequences on a world map, based on a centralised georeferenced database. The user can define environmental containers to organise the sequences according to different habitat criteria. To find similar sequences, the containers can be queried with either genes from the georeferenced database or user-imported sequences, using the BLAST algorithm. This allows an interactive assessment of the distribution of gene functions in the environment. Conclusion MetaLook allows scientists to investigate sequence data in their environmental context and to explore correlations between genes and habitat parameters. This software is a step towards the creation of specialised tools to study constrained distributions and habitat specificity of genes correlated with specific processes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:28 Mar 2013 10:20
Last Modified:28 Aug 2017 12:13
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2105
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2105-8-406
PubMed ID:17953757

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