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Nucleic Acids Res. 2006 Jan 1;34(Database issue):D358-62.

ODB: a database of operons accumulating known operons across multiple genomes.

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Bioinformatics Center, Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan.


Operon structures play an important role in co-regulation in prokaryotes. Although over 200 complete genome sequences are now available, databases providing genome-wide operon information have been limited to certain specific genomes. Thus, we have developed an ODB (Operon DataBase), which provides a data retrieval system of known operons among the many complete genomes. Additionally, putative operons that are conserved in terms of known operons are also provided. The current version of our database contains about 2000 known operon information in more than 50 genomes and about 13 000 putative operons in more than 200 genomes. This system integrates four types of associations: genome context, gene co-expression obtained from microarray data, functional links in biological pathways and the conservation of gene order across the genomes. These associations are indicators of the genes that organize an operon, and the combination of these indicators allows us to predict more reliable operons. Furthermore, our system validates these predictions using known operon information obtained from the literature. This database integrates known literature-based information and genomic data. In addition, it provides an operon prediction tool, which make the system useful for both bioinformatics researchers and experimental biologists. Our database is accessible at

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