Bioinformatics is a discipline developed on the basis of biology, mathematics and computer science. It effectively acquires and analyzes biological data such as nucleic acid sequences and protein structures, so as to conduct comprehensive and accurate biological analysis. Bioinformatics is an extremely important tool to study the microorganisms, which are widespread and highly varied.
Bioinformatics in Microbial Identification
The identification of genetic diversity of a large number of microorganisms is a data-intensive project, and bioinformatics can greatly improve its efficiency. Through protein sequence, DNA sequence, and protein structure information, bioinformatics technology can provide researchers with a precise and rapid means to profile microbes. For example, the single-molecule sequencing provided by PacBio SMRT can utilize fluorescent signals for microorganism sequencing and realize the synchronization of synthesis and sequencing.
Bioinformatics in Traceability of Microorganisms
The phylogenetic relationship of microorganisms is relatively complex, so it is challenging to conduct the tracing analysis. By bioinformatics analysis, scientists can readily build evolutionary trees and describe the evolutionary relationships among species and molecules, fulfilling various needs in pharmaceutics, diagnostics, food industry, environmental protection, etc.
Bioinformatics in Pathogenic Gene Detection
By conducting genome-wide homology analysis, the pathogenic microorganisms and their virulence genes can be identified efficiently and extensively. For example, through the establishment of a genome barcode database by high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics technology, the annotation of massive sequence data of microbial genomes can be achieved, which is of great practical significance for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases.
Bioinformatics in Drug Production
Microorganisms are diverse as well as their metabolites, which offers the foundation for the development and research of new drugs. For example, in the field of antibiotic research, bioinformatics is widely used for analyzing microbial gene sequences, developing approaches for microbial synthesis, and enzyme engineering.
Generally speaking, features of bioinformatics include searching (data collection and screening), processing (editing, sorting, management, and presenting), and utilizing (calculation and simulation) of biological data. Researchers can use mature bioinformatics tools (specialized websites, software), as well as statistical methods and the related for many areas of study. Bioinformatics can widely cover the requirement for gene alignment, gene detection and interpretation, structure comparison, phylogenic analysis, protein structure prediction, and more, which enormously facilitates the research in microbial technology.