The entire genome sequences of numerous foodborne pathogens have been determined, and genome sequencing projects of many others are currently underway. The resulting sequence information will permit detailed bioinformatic analyses and provide direction for subsequent functional analyses. Genomics-driven studies will have many applications in food safety, such as assisting with the development of tools for the rapid detection and identification of pathogens and helping to provide insights into their evolution, biology, and ecological fitness. These studies will also aid in elucidating the mechanisms employed by pathogens as they adapt to the variety of conditions encountered throughout their life cycle, from the food-processing environment to in vivo during infection. It is anticipated that genomics will aid in the development of novel preventative and control strategies, which in turn will ultimately lead to a safer food supply.
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