Interactive microbial distribution analysis using BioAtlas

Nucleic Acids Res. 2017 Jul 3;45(W1):W509-W513. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx304.


Massive amounts of 16S rRNA sequencing data have been stored in publicly accessible databases, such as GOLD, SILVA, GreenGenes (GG), and the Ribosomal Database Project (RDP). Many of these sequences are tagged with geo-locations. Nevertheless, researchers currently lack a user-friendly tool to analyze microbial distribution in a location-specific context. BioAtlas is an interactive web application that closes this gap between sequence databases, taxonomy profiling and geo/body-location information. It enables users to browse taxonomically annotated sequences across (i) the world map, (ii) human body maps and (iii) user-defined maps. It further allows for (iv) uploading of own sample data, which can be placed on existing maps to (v) browse the distribution of the associated taxonomies. Finally, BioAtlas enables users to (vi) contribute custom maps (e.g. for plants or animals) and to map taxonomies to pre-defined map locations. In summary, BioAtlas facilitates map-supported browsing of public 16S rRNA sequence data and analyses of user-provided sequences without requiring manual mapping to taxonomies and existing databases.


Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Archaea / classification
  • Archaea / genetics
  • Archaea / isolation & purification
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Microbiota*
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Software*


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S