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Pharmacogenomics. 2005 Apr;6(3):271-80.

New bioinformatics tools for viral genome analyses at Viral Bioinformatics--Canada.

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University of Victoria, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Victoria, BC V8W 3P6, Canada.


Viruses are much smaller than prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and it is now practical to sequence closely related members of virus families, strains, or even different isolates recovered during the course of an outbreak. However, comparative analysis of viral genomes requires the development of novel bioinformatics tools that allow us to align, edit, compare and interact with these genomes at all levels, from whole genome, to gene family, to single nucleotide polymorphisms. Comparative viral genomics can lead to the identification of the core characteristics that define a virus family, as well as the unique properties of viral species or isolates that contribute to variations in pathogenesis. This paper describes a number of tools, mainly developed for Viral Bioinformatics--Canada, that can be used for annotation and comparative genomic analysis of poxviruses. Nonetheless, these tools are also broadly applicable to other virus families.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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