Gene cluster identification made easy through data mining

phys.org | 7/12/2018 | Staff
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An updated web server will improve analysis of genetic material. This will help researchers optimise bacteria for the industrial production of novel antibiotics, vitamins and food-related compounds.

Ribosomally synthesised and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs), a diverse group of biologically active bacterial molecules, have been attracting a lot of attention lately thanks to their vast potential for therapeutic applications. Although they may seem unfamiliar, bacteriocins, one such class of molecules, have been widely utilised in the food industry over the past few decades. For example, nisin, a bacteriocin with antimicrobial properties, is used as a food biopreservative in dairy products, canned foods and cured meat. In recent years, its application has also been extended to biomedical fields.

Research - RiPPs - Bacteriocins - Team - Scientists

To facilitate the research in RiPPs and bacteriocins, a team of scientists partially supported by the EU Rafts4Biotech project have presented the latest version of a web-based software tool called BAGEL. The team published the features of the BAGEL4 web server recently in Nucleic Acids Research. As explained in the article, mining web servers could be useful in "pinpointing the genetic origin of an observed antimicrobial activity and hence identifying the associated chemical structure." This involves the process of using data mining techniques and algorithms to extract information directly from the web.

The researchers said BAGEL4 is a web server "that enables users to identify and visualise gene clusters in prokaryotic DNA involved in the biosynthesis of RiPPs and (unmodified) bacteriocins." Its input could also be extended with ribonucleic acid sequencing data. "Overall BAGEL4 has been updated and extended with new features; it's user-friendlier and offers reliable, fast and convenient mining of bacteriocins and RiPPs."

Rafts4Biotech - Challenges - Processes - Bacteria - Project

Rafts4Biotech was set up to overcome some of the challenges of biotechnological processes related to bacteria. As stated on the project website, "the performance of these microorganisms in the demanding industrial conditions is...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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