Methods Mol Biol 881 , 471-503 ( 2012)
Annotation of prokaryotic sequences can be separated into structural and functional annotation. Structural annotation is dependent on algorithmic interrogation of experimental evidence to discover the physical characteristics of a gene. This is done in an effort to construct accurate gene models, so understanding function or evolution of genes among organisms is not impeded. Functional annotation is dependent on sequence similarity to other known genes or proteins in an effort to assess the function of the gene. Combining structural and functional annotation across genomes in a comparative manner promotes higher levels of accurate annotation as well as an advanced understanding of genome evolution. As the availability of bacterial sequences increases and annotation methods improve, the value of comparative annotation will increase.