Suzanne Paley, Ingrid M. Keseler, Markus Krummenacker, Peter D. Karp; “Leveraging Curation Among Escherichia coli Pathway/Genome Databases Using Ortholog-Based Annotation Propagation;” Front Microbiol. 2021 12:614355. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.614355. eCollection 2021
Updating genome databases to reflect newly published molecular findings for an organism was hard enough when only a single strain of a given organism had been sequenced. With multiple sequenced strains now available for many organisms, the challenge has grown significantly because of the still-limited resources available for the manual curation that corrects errors and captures new knowledge. We have developed a method to automatically propagate multiple types of curated knowledge from genes and proteins in one genome database to their orthologs in uncurated databases for related strains, imposing several quality-control filters to reduce the chances of introducing errors. We have applied this method to propagate information from the highly curated EcoCyc database for Escherichia coli K–12 to databases for 480 other Escherichia coli strains in the BioCyc database collection. The increase in value and utility of the target databases after propagation is considerable. Target databases received updates for an average of 2,535 proteins each. In addition to widespread addition and regularization of gene and protein names, 97% of the target databases were improved by the addition of at least 200 new protein complexes, at least 800 new or updated reaction assignments, and at least 2,400 sets of GO annotations.