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Open Access Software

RASTA-Bacteria: a web-based tool for identifying toxin-antitoxin loci in prokaryotes

Emeric W Sevin1 and Frédérique Barloy-Hubler12*

Author Affiliations

1 CNRS UMR6061 Génétique et Développement, Université de Rennes 1, IFR 140, Av. du Prof. Léon Bernard, CS 34317, 35043 Rennes, France

2 CNRS UMR6026 Interactions Cellulaires et Moléculaires, Groupe DUALS, Université de Rennes 1, IFR140, Campus de Beaulieu, Av. du Général Leclerc, 35042 Rennes, France

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Genome Biology 2007, 8:R155  doi:10.1186/gb-2007-8-8-r155

Published: 1 August 2007

Abstract

Toxin/antitoxin (TA) systems, viewed as essential regulators of growth arrest and programmed cell death, are widespread among prokaryotes, but remain sparsely annotated. We present RASTA-Bacteria, an automated method allowing quick and reliable identification of TA loci in sequenced prokaryotic genomes, whether they are annotated open reading frames or not. The tool successfully confirmed all reported TA systems, and spotted new putative loci upon screening of sequenced genomes. RASTA-Bacteria is publicly available at http://genoweb.univ-rennes1.fr/duals/RASTA-Bacteria webcite.