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BMC Bioinformatics. 2008 Apr 1;9:177. doi: 10.1186/1471-2105-9-177.

JCoast - a biologist-centric software tool for data mining and comparison of prokaryotic (meta)genomes.

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  • 1Microbial Genomics Group, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Celsiusstrasse 1, D-28359 Bremen, Germany.



Current sequencing technologies give access to sequence information for genomes and metagenomes at a tremendous speed. Subsequent data processing is mainly performed by automatic pipelines provided by the sequencing centers. Although, standardised workflows are desirable and useful in many respects, rational data mining, comparative genomics, and especially the interpretation of the sequence information in the biological context, demands for intuitive, flexible, and extendable solutions.


The JCoast software tool was primarily designed to analyse and compare (meta)genome sequences of prokaryotes. Based on a pre-computed GenDB database project, JCoast offers a flexible graphical user interface (GUI), as well as an application programming interface (API) that facilitates back-end data access. JCoast offers individual, cross genome-, and metagenome analysis, and assists the biologist in exploration of large and complex datasets.


JCoast combines all functions required for the mining, annotation, and interpretation of (meta)genomic data. The lightweight software solution allows the user to easily take advantage of advanced back-end database structures by providing a programming and graphical user interface to answer biological questions. JCoast is available at the project homepage.

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