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Open Access Publications from the University of California

IMG/VR: a database of cultured and uncultured DNA Viruses and retroviruses.

  • Author(s): Paez-Espino, David
  • Chen, I-Min A
  • Palaniappan, Krishna
  • Ratner, Anna
  • Chu, Ken
  • Szeto, Ernest
  • Pillay, Manoj
  • Huang, Jinghua
  • Markowitz, Victor M
  • Nielsen, Torben
  • Huntemann, Marcel
  • K Reddy, TB
  • Pavlopoulos, Georgios A
  • Sullivan, Matthew B
  • Campbell, Barbara J
  • Chen, Feng
  • McMahon, Katherine
  • Hallam, Steve J
  • Denef, Vincent
  • Cavicchioli, Ricardo
  • Caffrey, Sean M
  • Streit, Wolfgang R
  • Webster, John
  • Handley, Kim M
  • Salekdeh, Ghasem H
  • Tsesmetzis, Nicolas
  • Setubal, Joao C
  • Pope, Phillip B
  • Liu, Wen-Tso
  • Rivers, Adam R
  • Ivanova, Natalia N
  • Kyrpides, Nikos C
  • et al.

Viruses represent the most abundant life forms on the planet. Recent experimental and computational improvements have led to a dramatic increase in the number of viral genome sequences identified primarily from metagenomic samples. As a result of the expanding catalog of metagenomic viral sequences, there exists a need for a comprehensive computational platform integrating all these sequences with associated metadata and analytical tools. Here we present IMG/VR (, the largest publicly available database of 3908 isolate reference DNA viruses with 264 413 computationally identified viral contigs from >6000 ecologically diverse metagenomic samples. Approximately half of the viral contigs are grouped into genetically distinct quasi-species clusters. Microbial hosts are predicted for 20 000 viral sequences, revealing nine microbial phyla previously unreported to be infected by viruses. Viral sequences can be queried using a variety of associated metadata, including habitat type and geographic location of the samples, or taxonomic classification according to hallmark viral genes. IMG/VR has a user-friendly interface that allows users to interrogate all integrated data and interact by comparing with external sequences, thus serving as an essential resource in the viral genomics community.

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