Analysis of genetic differences (gene presence/absence and nucleotide polymorphisms) among strains of a bacterial species is crucial to understanding molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis and selecting targets for novel antibacterial therapeutics. However, lack of genome-wide association studies on large and epidemiologically well-defined strain collections from the same species makes it difficult to identify the genes under positive selection and define adaptive polymorphisms in those genes. To address this need and to overcome existing limitations, we propose to create a “microbial variome"—a species-specific resource database of genomic variations based on molecular evolutionary analysis. Here, we present prototype variome databases of <em>Escherichia coli</em> and <em>Salmonella enterica</em> subspecies <em>enterica</em>(<a href="http://depts.washington.edu/sokurel/variome" target="">http://depts.washington.edu/sokurel/variome</a>, last accessed March 26, 2013). The prototypes currently include the point mutations data of core protein-coding genes from completely sequenced genomes of 22 <em>E. coli</em> and 17 <em>S. enterica</em>strains. These publicly available databases allow for single- and multiple-field sorting, filtering, and searching of the gene variability data and the potential adaptive significance. Such resource databases would immensely help experimental research, clinical diagnostics, epidemiology, and environmental control of human pathogens.
S. Chattopadhyay, F. Taub, S. Paul, and E. V. Sokurenko, “Microbial Variome Database: Point Mutations, Adaptive or Not, in Bacterial Core Genomes”, Molecular Biology and Evolution, vol. 30, pp. 1465-1470, 2013.