Large-scale sequencing of prokaryotic genomes demands the automation of certain annotation tasks currently manually performed in the production of the SWISS-PROT protein knowledgebase. The HAMAP project, or 'High-quality Automated and Manual Annotation of microbial Proteomes', aims to integrate manual and automatic annotation methods in order to enhance the speed of the curation process while preserving the quality of the database annotation. Automatic annotation is only applied to entries that belong to manually defined orthologous families and to entries with no identifiable similarities (ORFans). Many checks are enforced in order to prevent the propagation of wrong annotation and to spot problematic cases, which are channelled to manual curation. The results of this annotation are integrated in SWISS-PROT, and a website is provided at http://www.expasy.org/sprot/hamap/.