, Volume 64, Issue 3-4, pp 205-229

Software tools and databases for bacterial systematics and their disseminationvia global networks

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Abstract

The dynamic expansion of the taxonomic knowledge base is fundamental to further developments in biotechnology and sustainable conservation strategies. The vast array of software tools for numerical taxonomy and probabilistic identification, in conjunction with automated systems for data generation are allowing the construction of large computerised strain databases. New techniques available for the generation of chemical and molecular data, associated with new software tools for data analysis, are leading to a quantum leap in bacterial systematics. The easy exchange of data through an interactive and highly distributed global computer network, such as the Internet, is facilitating the dissemination of taxonomic data. Relevant information for comparative sequence analysis, ribotyping, protein and DNA electrophoretic pattern analysis is available on-line through computerised networks. Several software packages are available for the analysis of molecular data. Nomenclatural and taxonomic ‘Authority Files’ are available from different sources together with strain specific information. The increasing availability of public domain software, is leading to the establishment and integration of public domain databases all over the world, and promoting co-operative research projects on a scale never seen before.