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MetaLook: a 3D visualisation software for marine ecological genomics

Lombardot, Thierry
Kottmann, Renzo
Addor, Nans
Glöckner, Frank
Published in BMC bioinformatics. 2007, vol. 8, no. 1, 406
Abstract Background: Marine ecological genomics can be defined as the application of genomic sciences to understand the structure and function of marine ecosystems. In this field of research, the analysis of genomes and metagenomes of environmental relevance must take into account the corresponding habitat (contextual) data, e.g. water depth, physical and chemical parameters. The creation of specialised software tools and databases is requisite to allow this new kind of integrated analysis. Results: We implemented the MetaLook software for visualisation and analysis of marine ecological genomic and metagenomic data with respect to habitat parameters. MetaLook offers a three-dimensional user interface to interactively visualise DNA sequences on a world map, based on a centralised georeferenced database. The user can define environmental containers to organise the sequences according to different habitat criteria. To find similar sequences, the containers can be queried with either genes from the georeferenced database or user-imported sequences, using the BLAST algorithm. This allows an interactive assessment of the distribution of gene functions in the environment. Conclusion: MetaLook allows scientists to investigate sequence data in their environmental context and to explore correlations between genes and habitat parameters. This software is a step towards the creation of specialised tools to study constrained distributions and habitat specificity of genes correlated with specific processes.
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LOMBARDOT, Thierry et al. MetaLook: a 3D visualisation software for marine ecological genomics. In: BMC bioinformatics, 2007, vol. 8, n° 1, p. 406. doi: 10.1186/1471-2105-8-406

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Deposited on : 2012-03-29

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