MOSCOW, September 18– . A software package for working with the genomes of microorganisms was created by scientists from the Institute of Cytology and Genetics SB RAS. According to them, the development will help organize data on the genetic material of bacteria and will facilitate further research and the development of new useful strains of microbes. The results were published in the proceedings of the Parallel Computing Technologies conference.
Scientists from the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ICiG SB RAS) have developed a software package for analyzing the genomes of microorganisms.
According to experts, the development is important not only for organizing the data in the repository itself, but also for conducting a comparative analysis of different organisms with each other for the purpose of further planning new genetic experiments (for example, adding new genes using genetic engineering methods).
Experts noted that today the repository of microorganism genomes, with which ICG scientists work, contains information about about one and a half thousand strains, and this data is heterogeneous, ranging from simple short reads and assembled genomes to full-genome annotations and mathematical models.
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The concept of “whole genome annotation” implies obtaining the complete sequence of genetically inherited information of the genome. Next, using analytical programs, it is determined which functional genes are located there. Scientists can use the software to compare different strains and predict new properties of microbes.
Researchers are also searching for optimal metabolic pathways for the efficient production of useful substances (for example, amino acids) by changing the genetic makeup or habitat of microorganisms.
“The use of bacteria in the production of substances for pharmacology, feed additives, and household chemicals is a purely applied task, which involves working under agreements with industrial partners,” commented a junior researcher at the bioinformatics and information technology sector in genetics at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics SB RAS, a graduate of graduate school ICG Alexey Mukhin.
He added that the project is now being used within one research center, and in the future it will be available to other scientists working with bacterial genomes. Biologists from the Institute of Cytology and Genetics SB RAS, using the developed software package, carry out analytical calculations on already collected and annotated genomes without the use of experimental methods.
“The proposed system solves the problems of the institute in presenting the genetic information of our strains in conjunction with mathematical models of metabolism” ,” Mukhin emphasized.
Biologists, mathematicians and programmers work in this project.
The Institute of Cytology and Genetics SB RAS noted the importance of the fact that young scientists are involved in the project:
“IT specialist Alexey Mukhin came to the scientific graduate school of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics and over time took one of the key roles in our team leading developments in the field mathematical modeling of microorganisms. His contribution became exactly the “brick” that they lacked, since the team is dominated by geneticists and biologists. Thus, scientific graduate school gives a start to the career of a young scientist, and allows the institute to attract the necessary young talents to the work of its research groups,” said leading researcher at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics SB RAS Sergei Lashin.
According to specialists from the Institute of Cytology and Genetics SB RAS, the importance of creating your own software was emphasized, in particular, at a round table organized by the Kurchatov Genome Center at the X International Forum of Technological Development “Technoprom-2023” .