Beyond blast: enabling microbiologists to better extract literature, taxonomic distributions and gene neighbourhood information for protein families

Microb Genom. 2024 Feb;10(2):001183. doi: 10.1099/mgen.0.001183.


Capturing the published corpus of information on all members of a given protein family should be an essential step in any study focusing on specific members of that family. Using a previously gathered dataset of more than 280 references mentioning a member of the DUF34 (NIF3/Ngg1-interacting Factor 3) family, we evaluated the efficiency of different databases and search tools, and devised a workflow that experimentalists can use to capture the most information published on members of a protein family in the least amount of time. To complement this workflow, web-based platforms allowing for the exploration of protein family members across sequenced genomes or for the analysis of gene neighbourhood information were reviewed for their versatility and ease of use. Recommendations that can be used for experimentalist users, as well as educators, are provided and integrated within a customized, publicly accessible Wiki.

Keywords: UX/UI; bioinformatics; gene neighbourhoods; orthology; phylogenetic distribution; synteny; tools.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Genome*