Tag Archives: human microbiome project

Video Tip of the Week: Microbiome Resources From JGI


Just over a month ago an issue of Nature had two articles from the Human Microbiome Project Consortium – you may have seen them, or noticed the Friday SNPets items we had on them. I promised myself that I’d read the articles (which I did), and that I’d visit my old friends the IMG (Integrated Microbial Genomes) & IMG/M (IMG with Microbiome Samples) to see what is new at these powerful microbial genome resources. In today’s tip I decided to take you along on my visit with me, because I found that IMG now has a resource dedicated to the analysis of genomes related to the Human Microbiome Project called the Integrated Microbial Genomes-Human Microbiome Project, or IMG/HMP. We visit both IMG/M (briefly) and the IMG/HMP in today’s tip.

When I referred to IMG as an old friend, I really do feel that way – our tutorial on IMG* was one of my first projects for OpenHelix. I was new, and IMG was new, having been released in March of 2005, only a few months before I created our tutorial (on their June 2005 release, if I am remembering correctly). They have grown into such an extensive, powerful resource. To give you an idea of how fast they have grown & developed, our current IMG tutorial is version 12 and I’ll be working on version 13 as soon as I finish updating our SGD tutorial. When we first created our IMG/M tutorial*, metagenomes were a relatively new concept and the resource included a total of 24 microbiome samples – now it has over 1000!

But enough with the nostalgia, let’s get to the resources! :) IMG/M integrates metagenome data with isolate microbial genome sequences from the integrated microbial genome (IMG) system to enable the analysis of phylogenetic composition and functional or metabolic potential of the aggregate genomes (metagenomes) in microbial communities (microbiomes). Genomes generated as part of the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) are included into IMG/M from RefSeq via IMG. IMG/M resources allow users analyze metagenomes, genomes, genes and functions by making lists of items and then manipulating them in “analysis carts”. Metagenomes can also be analyzed using the tools provided from their ‘Metagenome Details’ page. These options are explained in much more detail than I can cover here in the IMG/M reference that I site below. I also link to the most recent IMG publication, since an understanding of it is essential to understand any IMG/M-based resource.

* OpenHelix tutorial for this resource available for individual purchase or through a subscription.

Quick Links:
Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG): http://img.jgi.doe.gov/cgi-bin/pub/main.cgi

Integrated Microbial Genomes with Microbiomes (IMG/M): http://img.jgi.doe.gov/cgi-bin/m/main.cgi

Integrated Microbial Genomes-Human Microbiome Project (IMG/HMP): http://www.hmpdacc-resources.org/imgm_hmp/

OpenHelix Introductory Tutorial on IMG: http://www.openhelix.com/cgi/tutorialInfo.cgi?id=54

OpenHelix Introductory Tutorial on IMG/M: http://www.openhelix.com/cgi/tutorialInfo.cgi?id=24

References:
Victor M. Markowitz, I-Min A. Chen, Ken Chu, Ernest Szeto, Krishna Palaniappan, Yuri Grechkin, Anna Ratner, Biju Jacob, Amrita Pati, Marcel Huntemann, Konstantinos Liolios, Ioanna Pagani, Iain Anderson, Konstantinos Mavromatis, Natalia N. Ivanova, & Nikos C. Kyrpides (2012).
IMG/M: the integrated metagenome data management and comparative analysis system Nucl. Acids Res. , 40 DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkr975

Victor M. Markowitz1, I-Min A. Chen, Krishna Palaniappan, Ken Chu, Ernest Szeto, Yuri Grechkin, Anna Ratner, Biju Jacob, Jinghua Huang, Peter Williams, Marcel Huntemann, Iain Anderson, Konstantinos Mavromatis, Natalia N. Ivanova, & Nikos C. Kyrpides (2012). IMG: the integrated microbial genomes database and comparative analysis system Nucl. Acids Res., 40 DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkr1044

Tip of the Week: Comparing Microbial Databases


A few weeks ago a commenter asked me to compare IMG (Integrated Microbial Genomes) to the UCSC Microbial Genome browser. I’ve been exploring & thinking since then & am going to give a very brief comparison of those two resources in today’s tip & I’ll expand the comparison to other resources here in the text of this post.

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Metagenomes in Nature

Nature had a nice feature on metagenomics last week and another on the Human microbiome metagenomics. You’ll need to have a subscription to access those :(, but the gist of the latter news feature is the possibilities of Human microbiome research, pros and cons and the projects out there. There are a lot. In order of amount of funding they are:

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Metagenomics making the big Times (as in NY)

Metagenomics, which is really a new area of study (barely this last decade) in comparison to most biological areas of research, is already making into the mainstream press. The New York Times has an article yesterday entitled “Bacteria thrive in the inner Elbow, No Harm Done” (you’ll need a free registration to read that). The article quotes from metagenomic studies that show that our inner elbows contain a unique microbiome of species even in comparison to our upper arm, though it goes a  more into metagenomic studies than just that. As the article states:

The research is part of the human microbiome project, microbiome meaning the entourage of all microbes that live in people.
The project is an ambitious government-financed endeavor to catalog the typical bacterial colonies that inhabit each niche in the human ecosystem.

That’d be this project. The article does a decent job of explaining why this project is helpful, but doesn’t really explain how this approach of metagenomics is different or how it’s done (in fact, it never says the word “metagenomics“). Oh well, can’t have everything.

For your edification: There is last year’s report “The New Science of Metagenomics” from the National Research Council (you can read free online, or purchase as a book. Also, of course there are at least two extensive databases of metagenomic data, IMG/M (free tutorial) and Camera.