Putting your ACT skills into practice
This week is split into two parts. The first is looking back at the two Mycobacterial species we used in the previous course, Bacterial Genomes: Accessing and Analysing Microbial Genome Data and the second is the peer review, where you will tackle a real research problem and discuss with fellow learners
In the previous course we looked for pseudogenes in Mycobacterium leprae. In the assignment, we used Mycobacterium tuberculosis to compare with its orthologue in Mycobacterium leprae to determine if it’s a non-functional gene (pseudogene). However as many of you realised, it is really difficult to have a side by side comparison unless you have two screens at your disposal. What this course introduced to you was a useful tool to compare genomes, which we can visualise in ACT. You will be using ACT to identify new pseudogenes or simply look at the previous ones you found and see if you were correct. Additionally, you will be trying to identify possible unique regions in M. leprae that could be used for identification of the species or even regions that may be of interest.
In the latter part of the week, you will be comparing two plasmid genomes, both found in species of Shigella. These plasmids both carry several antibiotic resistance genes. Your peer review assignment will be to explore both genomes and identify unique genes in one of the plasmids that may explain its success as a plasmid in the Shigella species.
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