In the past few years the field of transcriptomics has grown rapidly. This chapter explores the development of the biology and technologies that gave rise to this new field, and its importance. We will focus in particular on the microarray and the issues important to its use and correct interpretation. Using published examples we explore the many varied uses to which the microarray has been put. The examples show how the data being generated are increasing our understanding of pathogenic bacteria and the hosts that they infect. We hope that this chapter will act primarily as an introduction to the complex field of transcriptomics. Directions to relevant reviews are provided wherever we feel they will be of benefit to the reader.
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