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Human Oral Microbiome Database

The microbes of the oral cavity have always been a field of great interest to the scientists and there has been so much research around it. All the research has now been gathered into one place and is been developed into a Human Oral Microbiome Database [HOMD]. The scientists from The Forsyth Institute in Boston and King’s College London in England have put together this comprehensive database of approximately 600 distinct oral microorganisms.

The database has been considered to be digital equivalent of an Oxford dictionary of oral microorganisms, providing detailed biological entries for each species and an extensive catalogue of the thousands of genes that these microbes express.

The database also categorizes each microbe by its 16S rRNA sequence, a distinctive fingerprint of genetic information that scientists have used for the past two decades to identify microorganisms. This sequence information allows the microbes to be placed in a family tree that shows how they are related to one another. For those organisms whose DNA has been sequenced, HOMD provides online tools to view and analyze all of their genes and proteins. Each category of information in the database is interlinked, readily searchable, appropriately annotated, and will be frequently updated to remain current.

Full and partial oral bacterial genome sequences determined as part of this project and the Human Microbiome Project, are being added to the HOMD as they become available. HOMD offers easy to used tools for viewing all publically available oral bacterial genomes.

The HOMD presents a provisional naming scheme for the currently unnamed species so that strain, clone, and probe data from any laboratory can be directly linked to a stably named reference entity. The HOMD links sequence data with phenotypic, phylogenetic, clinical, and bibliographic information.

According to Dr. Bruce Paster, Ph.D., at The Forsyth Institute and another project scientist. "Since oral microorganisms appear in infections throughout the human body, the HOMD database certainly will be useful to physicians. Likewise, microbiologists in industry will find HOMD helpful because oral microbes sometimes contaminate food or the drug manufacturing process."

PerioTalk: When I checked the website I found it to be very user friendly and useful. All the oral organisms have been listed with in depth details of general and phenotypic characteristics, 16S rRNA sequence for most of the organisms, PubMed search links and Nucleotide search links. I am sure this database is as helpful tool for both the scientists and the novice. Its one place stop for all the information regarding the oral microbes. Visit the site at :www.homd.org


Adapted from:
1) NIH Original press release
Source: Bob Kuska
http://www.nih.gov/news/health/mar2008/nidcr-25.htm
2) HODM website : http://www.homd.org

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