November 15, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 20)
Strong Points: Large database, nice interactive maps, detailed information
Weak Points: None
To all of you genome explorers out there: let BacMap guide you to your destination! The BacMap genome atlas, developed by a group at the University of Alberta, provides users with interactive maps of fully sequenced bacterial genomes. The database is extensive and includes over 1,600 bacterial species (and an additional hundred or so archaebacteria). Users can search the maps by gene/protein name, genus/species/strain, keyword (from text appearing in the BioCards that accompany each entry), or metabolic pathway. Additionally, one can filter the results by taxonomy or by an extensive list of phenotypes including items such as cell shape, oxygen requirements, and habitat. Site visitors can click on the name of any given entry to display a detailed description of the organism; this is in addition to the interactive maps themselves, which display color-coded gene information and can be zoomed and rotated by the user.