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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 1998 Oct;22(4):207-27.

Indigo: a World-Wide-Web review of genomes and gene functions.

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Université de Versailles Saint Quentin, Laboratoire Génome et Informatique, France.


The present article describes a genome database reviewing gene-related knowledge of two model bacteria, Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli. The database, Indigo, is open through the World-Wide Web ( The concept used for organising the data, the concept of neighbourhood, allows one to explore the database content in an efficient although somewhat unusual way. Here, genes are related to each other by a variety of neighbourhoods, including proximity in the chromosome, phylogenetic kinship, participation in a common metabolic pathway, common presence in an article of the literature, or similar use of the genetic code. Several examples illustrate how this concept of neighbourhood permits one to review the available knowledge about a given gene or gene family, and elaborate unexpected, but revealing, analyses about gene functions.

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