ISbrowser: an extension of ISfinder for visualizing insertion sequences in prokaryotic genomes

Nucleic Acids Res. 2010 Jan;38(Database issue):D62-8. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkp947. Epub 2009 Nov 11.


Insertion sequences (ISs) are among the smallest and simplest autonomous transposable elements. ISfinder ( is a dedicated IS database which assigns names to individual ISs to maintain a coherent nomenclature, an IS repository including >3000 individual ISs from both bacteria and archaea and provides a basis for IS classification. Each IS is indexed in ISfinder with various associated pieces of information (the complete nucleotide sequence, the sequence of the ends and target sites, potential open reading frames, strain of origin, distribution in other strains and available bibliography) and classified into a group or family to provide some insight into its phylogeny. ISfinder also includes extensive background information on ISs and transposons in general. Online tools are gradually being added. At present, it is difficult to visualize the global distribution of ISs in a given bacterial genome. Such information would facilitate understanding of the impact of these small transposable elements on shaping their host genome. Here we describe ISbrowser (, an extension to the ISfinder platform and a tool which permits visualization of the position, orientation and distribution of complete and partial ISs in individual prokaryotic genomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Biotechnology / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Biotechnology / trends*
  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Computational Biology / trends
  • Databases, Genetic*
  • Databases, Nucleic Acid*
  • Databases, Protein
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Information Storage and Retrieval / methods
  • Internet
  • Phylogeny
  • Prokaryotic Cells*
  • Software
  • User-Computer Interface