How is the Athena database different that other publicly available 16S databases?

The Athena database contains contiguous 16S-ITS-23S gene sequences from comprehensive, integrated, non-redundant, well-annotated genomes, enabling strain level differentiation for many bacteria. Strain-level taxonomic differentiation of bacteria using 16S databases (SILVA, RDP, Riken, HOMD, etc.) is typically not possible regardless of how many sequences are in the database, because closely related bacteria may share identical,  full-length 16S gene sequences. The Athena database contains the spacer-region sequences between the 16S and 23S genes, which are a rich source of variability crucial for differentiating closely related bacterial strains.

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