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Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Jan;42(Database issue):D744-8. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt1250. Epub 2013 Dec 5.

mVOC: a database of microbial volatiles.

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University of Rostock, Institute of Biological Sciences, Rostock 18059, Germany, Charité-University Medicine Berlin, Structural Bioinformatics Group, Institute of Physiology & Experimental Clinical Research Center, Berlin 13125, Germany and Charité-University Medicine Berlin, Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology, Berlin 13353, Germany.


Scents are well known to be emitted from flowers and animals. In nature, these volatiles are responsible for inter- and intra-organismic communication, e.g. attraction and defence. Consequently, they influence and improve the establishment of organisms and populations in ecological niches by acting as single compounds or in mixtures. Despite the known wealth of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from species of the plant and animal kingdom, in the past, less attention has been focused on volatiles of microorganisms. Although fast and affordable sequencing methods facilitate the detection of microbial diseases, however, the analysis of signature or fingerprint volatiles will be faster and easier. Microbial VOCs (mVOCs) are presently used as marker to detect human diseases, food spoilage or moulds in houses. Furthermore, mVOCs exhibited antagonistic potential against pathogens in vitro, but their biological roles in the ecosystems remain to be investigated. Information on volatile emission from bacteria and fungi is presently scattered in the literature, and no public and up-to-date collection on mVOCs is available. To address this need, we have developed mVOC, a database available online at

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