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ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences
Gleueler Straße 60
50931 Cologne (Köln)

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Nutritional, Environmental and Agricultural Sciences

ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences
Friedrich-Hirzebruch-Allee 4
53115 Bonn




An infrastructure and research centre for data and information in the life sciences.

Life sciences research needs a solid infrastructure.

ZB MED carries out the applied research required to achieve this.


Comparative analysis of small RNA regulatory networks in Gammaproteobacteria

By analysing high-throughput sequencing data, the sRNARegNet project aims to identify small, regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) and compare their regulatory networks. The project will focus on microbes from the class of Gammaproteobacteria, a highly diverse class of bacteria which includes many groups that are medically, ecologically and scientifically important. A number of important human, animal and plant pathogens belong to this class, such as Salmonella spp., which causes typhoid fever, Vibrio cholerae, which causes cholera, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes lung infections.

A typical bacterium expresses hundreds of sRNAs. Unlike other RNA, sRNAs are not translated into protein and do not have structural functions, but instead act as regulators in the cell. However, the significance of these sRNAs and their functions in a broad range of biological processes are, in many cases, unknown. The sRNARegNet project team will be taking a new approach to studying these processes by systematically comparing the sRNAs of various species of bacteria from the class of Gammaproteobacteria. By using a bioinformatics approach to compare new sRNAs, the team hopes to get some indication of their functions and help predict these functions.

The data generated in the sRNARegNet project will be made available as an online resource to other investigators with a wide range of research interests.

ZB MED’s role in the project

  • Data integration and bioinformatics analysis
  • Creating online resources to make the data available


1 September 2020 – 31 August 2024

Funding bodies

German Research Foundation (DFG)


  • Dr. Gisela Storz, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, USA
  • Prof. Dr. Kai Papenfort, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany