IslandViewer update: Improved genomic island discovery and visualization

Nucleic Acids Res. 2013 Jul;41(Web Server issue):W129-32. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt394. Epub 2013 May 15.


IslandViewer ( is a web-accessible application for the computational prediction and analysis of genomic islands (GIs) in bacterial and archaeal genomes. GIs are clusters of genes of probable horizontal origin and are of high interest because they disproportionately encode virulence factors and other adaptations of medical, environmental and industrial interest. Many computational tools exist for the prediction of GIs, but three of the most accurate methods are available in integrated form via IslandViewer: IslandPath-DIMOB, SIGI-HMM and IslandPick. IslandViewer GI predictions are precomputed for all complete microbial genomes from National Center for Biotechnology Information, with an option to upload other genomes and/or perform customized analyses using different settings. Here, we report recent changes to the IslandViewer framework that have vastly improved its efficiency in handling an increasing number of users, plus better facilitate custom genome analyses. Users may also now overlay additional annotations such as virulence factors, antibiotic resistance genes and pathogen-associated genes on top of current GI predictions. Comparisons of GIs between user-selected genomes are now facilitated through a highly requested side-by-side viewer. IslandViewer improvements aim to provide a more flexible interface, coupled with additional highly relevant annotation information, to aid analysis of GIs in diverse microbial species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Genome, Archaeal*
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Genomic Islands*
  • Internet
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation
  • Software*