The GenBank sequence database is an annotated collection of all publicly available nucleotide sequences and their protein translations. This database is produced at National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) as part of an international collaboration with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Data Library from the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) and the DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ). GenBank and its collaborators receive sequences produced in laboratories throughout the world from more than 115,000 distinct organisms. GenBank continues to grow at an exponential rate, doubling every 10 months. Release 142, produced in June 2004, contained over 40.3 billion nucleotide bases in more than 35.5 million sequences. GenBank is built by direct submissions from individual laboratories, as well as from bulk submissions from large-scale sequencing centers. Direct submissions are made to GenBank using BankIt [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/BankIt/], which is a Web-based form, or the stand- alone submission program, Sequin
. Upon receipt of a sequence submission, the GenBank staff assigns an Accession number to the sequence and performs quality assurance checks. The submissions are then released to the public database, where the entries are retrievable by Entrez or downloadable by FTP. Bulk submissions of Expressed Sequence Tag (EST), Sequence Tagged Site (STS), Genome Survey Sequence (GSS), and High-Throughput Genome Sequence (HTGS) data are most often submitted by large-scale sequencing centers. The GenBank direct submissions group also processes complete microbial genome sequences.
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