Microbial genome web portals have a broad range of capabilities that address a number of information-finding and analysis needs for scientists. This article compares the capabilities of the major microbial genome web portals to aid researchers in determining which portal(s) are best suited to their needs. We assessed both the bioinformatics tools and the data content of BioCyc, KEGG, Ensembl Bacteria, KBase, IMG, and PATRIC. For each portal, our assessment compared and tallied the available capabilities. The strengths of BioCyc include its genomic and metabolic tools, multi-search capabilities, table-based analysis tools, regulatory network tools and data, omics data analysis tools, breadth of data content, and large amount of curated data. The strengths of KEGG include its genomic and metabolic tools. The strengths of Ensembl Bacteria include its genomic tools and large number of genomes. The strengths of KBase include its genomic tools and metabolic models. The strengths of IMG include its genomic tools, multi-search capabilities, large number of genomes, table-based analysis tools, and breadth of data content. The strengths of PATRIC include its large number of genomes, table-based analysis tools, metabolic models, and breadth of data content.
Keywords: genome databases; genome portals; microbial genome databases; microbial genomes; microbial genomics.