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Microbial Genome Databases: Existing Challenges and the Need for Authenticated Reference Genomes

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"Microbial Genome Databases: Existing Challenges and the Need for Authenticated Reference Genomes"

The field of microbiological research is faced with challenges surrounding the lack of quality, completeness, authenticity, accuracy, and traceability in publicly available reference genomes.

These issues arise from the use of non-authenticated cultures and older sequencing and analysis technologies, as well as the absence of standardized methodologies for sequencing and assembling reference genomes. As a result, researchers require reliable genomic information tied to authenticated, fully characterized materials with known and reliable provenance.

To address these challenges, the authors of this white paper from ATCC surveyed the status of ATCC bacterial genome sequences in public databases and implemented a genome sequencing workflow designed to provide reference-quality whole-genome sequences derived from authenticated ATCC materials. Their results demonstrated a significant lack of representation of ATCC strains with complete genome sequences available in public databases. The authors then developed and applied a standardized end-to-end sequencing and assembly workflow for producing reference-quality genome sequences, aiming to improve the quality of reference genome sequences and facilitate accurate interpretation of research results.

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