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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Computational approaches to standard-compliant biofilm data for reliable analysis and integration Seminar

27 April 2012
Building 85, Seminar room 6003

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Sam Collins on 023 8059 4301 or email .

Event details

The Centre for Biological Sciences Postgraduate Microbiology Interest Group presents this seminar with Dr Analia Lourenco. Most of the existing microorganisms subsist as heterogeneous surface-associated colonies known as biofilms. Understanding the persistence of these colonies is of great importance to human development, namely to clinical, industrial and environmental areas.

Biofilms have numerous biotechnological applications and are a major cause of infection, presenting an increasing resistance to clinically relevant antibiotics. Similarly to other research domains, the biofilm domain is entering the "omics" age and, as biofilm research grows to be a data-intensive discipline, the need for suitable bioinformatics approaches becomes compelling. However, efforts are hampered by the inexistence of a concerted strategy for data standardisation, organisation and deposition.

Therefore, we proposed two computational approaches to biofilm data standardisation and organisation: Morphocol and BiofOmics frameworks. These frameworks will allow the search and comparison of similar biofilm and biofilm-phenotypic signatures, and enable data integration and interoperability across research groups as well as with other biological databases.

MorphoCol is a new Web-based framework for the modelling and analysis of biofilm phenotypic signatures, supported by the novel phenotypic ontology, the Colony Morphology Ontology (CMO), to share knowledge on the colony morphology variations of infection-causing bacteria. BiofOmics addresses data standardisation on new-to-come biofilm experiments, as well as on already published studies, and allows the storage and exchange of biofilm data. To ensure the interpretability of experimental results as well as their independent verification, we are also developing a standard initiative called MIABiE, the Minimum Information About a Biofilm Experiment. Hopefully, this will be the starting point for broader community discussion and proactive participation.

Speaker information

Dr Analia Lourenco, University of Minho. Faculty Researcher

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