IMG-ABC v.5.0: an update to the IMG/Atlas of Biosynthetic Gene Clusters Knowledgebase

Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Jan 8;48(D1):D422-D430. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkz932.


Microbial secondary metabolism is a reservoir of bioactive compounds of immense biotechnological and biomedical potential. The biosynthetic machinery responsible for the production of these secondary metabolites (SMs) (also called natural products) is often encoded by collocated groups of genes called biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs). High-throughput genome sequencing of both isolates and metagenomic samples combined with the development of specialized computational workflows is enabling systematic identification of BGCs and the discovery of novel SMs. In order to advance exploration of microbial secondary metabolism and its diversity, we developed the largest publicly available database of predicted BGCs combined with experimentally verified BGCs, the Integrated Microbial Genomes Atlas of Biosynthetic gene Clusters (IMG-ABC) ( Here we describe the first major content update of the IMG-ABC knowledgebase, since its initial release in 2015, refreshing the BGC prediction pipeline with the latest version of antiSMASH (v5) as well as presenting the data in the context of underlying environmental metadata sourced from GOLD ( This update has greatly improved the quality and expanded the types of predicted BGCs compared to the previous version.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriocins / biosynthesis
  • Bacteriocins / genetics
  • Biosynthetic Pathways / genetics*
  • Databases, Genetic*
  • Genome, Microbial*
  • Knowledge Bases
  • Metadata
  • Metagenome
  • Multigene Family*
  • Secondary Metabolism / genetics*
  • User-Computer Interface


  • Bacteriocins