Recently I was watching a show about the beginning of life on Earth, and they were talking about how important Cyanobacteria was for making oxygen available for other life forms. As they talked about astrobiology and the search for other inhabitable planets, it occurred to me that I know a way of searching for microbes associated with such studies, or a variety of other categories for that matter, different than through a mere keyword search of PubMed. For my tip of the week, I want to show you how to use the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) system to search for microbes associated with some basic characteristic or relevance, such as acid loving or causing disease.
If you want to learn more after watching this tip, you can read the recent publication by the Joint Genome Institute (JGI).
Markowitz, V.M., Szeto, E., Palaniappan, K., Grechkin, Y., Chu, K., Chen, I.A., Dubchak, I., Anderson, I., Lykidis, A., Mavromatis, K., Ivanova, N.N., Kyrpides, N.C. (2007). The integrated microbial genomes (IMG) system in 2007: data content and analysis tool extensions. Nucleic Acids Research, 36(Database), D528-D533. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkm846