Retrieving Information

Determination of complete or partial nucleotide sequences of viral genomes is proceeding at an astonishing rate. For example, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) included over 247 610 entries for viral sequences at the time of writing of this article (January 2005), representing less than 1% of all sequence entries. The rate of sequence determination greatly exceeds the rate at which their functional significance can be established: chemistry outstrips biology. This avalanche of sequence information of viral genomes necessitates appropriate quality control, annotation, and organization of data, as well as easy accessibility by scientists interested in disparate aspects of genome organization, function of regulatory regions and encoded proteins, and viral evolution in general. A number of databases useful for virogenomics and their main features are summarized in Table 17.1.

Tab. 17.1 Some nucleotide sequence data banks for viruses.

Database

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