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Nucleic Acids Res. 2003 Jan 1;31(1):152-5.

BSD: the Biodegradative Strain Database.

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  • 1Center for Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1101, USA.


The Biodegradative Strain Database (BSD) is a freely-accessible, web-based database providing detailed information on degradative bacteria and the hazardous substances that they degrade, including corresponding literature citations, relevant patents and links to additional web-based biological and chemical data. The BSD ( is being developed within the phylogenetic framework of the Ribosomal Database Project II (RDPII: to provide a biological complement to the chemical and degradative pathway data of the University of Minnesota Biocatalysis/Biodegradation Database (UM-BBD: Data is accessible through a series of strain, chemical and reference lists or by keyword search. The web site also includes on-line data submission and user survey forms to solicit user contributions and suggestions. The current release contains information on over 250 degradative bacterial strains and 150 hazardous substances. The transformation of xenobiotics and other environmentally toxic compounds by microorganisms is central to strategies for biocatalysis and the bioremediation of contaminated environments. However, practical, comprehensive, strain-level information on biocatalytic/biodegradative microbes is not readily available and is often difficult to compile. Similarly, for any given environmental contaminant, there is no single resource that can provide comparative information on the array of identified microbes capable of degrading the chemical. A web site that consolidates and cross-references strain, chemical and reference data related to biocatalysis, biotransformation, biodegradation and bioremediation would be an invaluable tool for academic and industrial researchers and environmental engineers.

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