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The Microbe Directory is a collective research effort to profile and annotate more than 7,500 unique microbial species from the MetaPhlAn2 database that includes bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. By collecting and summarizing data on various microbes’ characteristics, the project comprises a database that can be used downstream of large-scale metagenomic taxonomic analyses, allowing one to interpret and explore their taxonomic classifications to have a deeper understanding of the microbial ecosystem they are studying. Such characteristics include, but are not limited to: optimal pH, optimal temperature, Gram stain, biofilm-formation, spore-formation, antimicrobial resistance, and COGEM class risk rating. The database has been manually curated by trained student-researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine and CUNY—Hunter College, and its analysis remains an ongoing effort with open-source capabilities so others can contribute. Available in SQL, JSON, and CSV (i.e. Excel) formats, the Microbe Directory can be queried for the aforementioned parameters by a microorganism’s taxonomy. In addition to the raw database, The Microbe Directory has an online counterpart ( that provides a user-friendly interface for storage, retrieval, and analysis into which other microbial database projects could be incorporated. The Microbe Directory was primarily designed to serve as a resource for researchers conducting metagenomic analyses, but its online web interface should also prove useful to any individual who wishes to learn more about any particular microbe.


This article was originally published in Gates Open Research, available at doi: 10.12688/gatesopenres.12772.1.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.



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