PROBIOTIC GENOMES: SEQUENCING AND ANNOTATION IN THE PAST DECADEAbstract
Probiotics are live microorganisms that confer many health benefits to the host when administered in adequate quantities. These health benefits have garnered much attention towards probiotics and have given an impetus to their use as dietary supplements for the improvement of general health and as adjuvant therapies for certain diseases. The increased demand for probiotic products in the recent times has provided the thrust for probiotic research applied to several areas of human biology. The advances in genomic technologies have further facilitated the sequencing of the genomes of such probiotic bacteria and their genomic analyses to identify the genes that endow the beneficial effects they are known to exert. This work reviews the application of genomic strategies on probiotic bacteria, while providing the details about the probiotic strains whose genome sequences are available. It also consolidates the genomic tools used for the sequencing, assembly and annotation of the probiotic genes and how it has helped in comparative genomic analyses.