A review of bioinformatics platforms for comparative genomics. Recent developments of the EDGAR 2.0 platform and its utility for taxonomic and phylogenetic studies.

The rapid development of next generation sequencing technology has greatly increased the amount of available microbial genomes. As a result of this development, there is a rising demand for fast and automated approaches in analyzing these genomes in a comparative way. Whole genome sequencing also bears a huge potential for obtaining a higher resolution in phylogenetic and taxonomic classification. During the last decade, several software tools and platforms have been developed in the field of comparative genomics. In this manuscript, we review the most commonly used platforms and approaches for ortholog group analyses with a focus on their potential for phylogenetic and taxonomic research. Furthermore, we describe the latest improvements of the EDGAR platform for comparative genome analyses and present recent examples of its application for the phylogenomic analysis of different taxa. Finally, we illustrate the role of the EDGAR platform as part of the BiGi Center for Microbial Bioinformatics within the German network on Bioinformatics Infrastructure (de.NBI).

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