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With the human and mouse genome sequences behind us, whole microbial genome sequencing has become the most active area in genomics today. As easy targets have been worked on first, the microbes under scrutiny today are frequently uncharacterized and difficult to grow and isolate. In those cases, genome sequences often constitute the first and only reliable information about the microorganism to which they belong. It also becoming the rule that no experiments (genetics, transformation, mutagenesis) are directly possible on the microorganism. For better characterized microbes, the competition in the field pushes us to get interested in "anonymous genes" for which no functional clues have be gained from routine sequence analysis.