Understanding nutrient flows within microbial communities is important to a wide range of fields, including medicine, bioremediation, carbon sequestration, and sustainable biofuel development. Now, researchers have built the Web of Microbes, a unique database and visualization tool that lets scientists quickly see patterns in microbial food webs. The tool, which was created through a collaboration among biologists and computational researchers at Berkeley Lab, NERSC, and the Joint Genome Institute (JGI), offers insights that other metabolic pathway databases cannot. “While most existing databases focus on metabolic pathways or identifications, the Web of Microbes is unique in displaying information on which metabolites are consumed or released by an organism in an environment such as soil,” said Suzanne Kosina, lead author on the paper and senior research associate in Biosciences’ Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology (EGSB) Division.
Read more on the Computing Sciences website.