Roland Siezen and colleagues at the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, have created a software tool that's long overdue. Most researchers in the eukaryotic model organism community have genome browsers capable of integrating and overlaying various datasets to produce annotated chromosome maps. Microbiologists, though, have been largely out of luck.

Now the playing field has been leveled a bit. Microbial Genome Viewer (MGV; http://cmbipc49.cmbi.kun.nl/genome) is a free, open-source program that allows scientists to view and modify bacterial genome maps sporting such data as GC percentage, gene locations, and expression levels. "You can turn off one gene and then overlay the expression map on the original chromosome wheel, and related changes are immediately obvious," says Siezen. "It's a lot more useful than looking at pages of numbers."

MGV can also create interactive linear genome maps, in which clicking a gene redirects you to the relevant record in an external database...

Interested in reading more?

Magaizne Cover

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?