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Viral bioinformatics resource center

The meaning of «viral bioinformatics resource center»

The Viral Bioinformatics Resource Center (VBRC) is an online resource providing access to a database of curated viral genomes and a variety of tools for bioinformatic genome analysis.[1] This resource was one of eight BRCs (Bioinformatics Resource Centers) funded by NIAID with the goal of promoting research against emerging and re-emerging pathogens, particularly those seen as potential bioterrorism threats. The VBRC is now supported by Dr. Chris Upton[2] at the University of Victoria.

The curated VBRC database contains all publicly available genomic sequences for poxviruses and African Swine Fever Viruses (ASFV). A unique aspect of this resource relative to other genomic databases is its grouping of all annotated genes into ortholog groups (i.e. protein families) based on pre-run BLASTP sequence similarity searches.

The curated database is accessed through VOCS (Viral Orthologous Clusters), a downloadable Java-based user interface, and acts as the central information source for other programs of the VBRC workbench. These programs serve a variety of bioinformatic analysis functions (whole- or subgenome alignments, genome display, and several types of gene/protein sequence analysis). The majority of these tools are programmed to take user-supplied input as well.

The VBRC database stores viral bioinformatic data on three levels:

VBRC provides researchers with a wide variety of database-linked tools. Of these, the central four programs are VOCs, VGO, BBB, and JDotter.

VBRC provides a number of additional Java-based analysis tools on its website. The tools in this category are each designed to perform a very specific task (e.g. regular expression searches, DNA skew plotting) and, though they can be accessed as stand-alone programs with user-supplied input, most have increased utility when launched from the central VOCS application with VBRC-supplied data.

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