Nowadays, with over a thousand bacterial genomes sequenced,
even greater opportunities have opened for experimental or
computational global analysis of metabolism, physiology, and evolution.
In particular, the access to comprehensive sets of molecular
components (genes, proteins, regulatory signals) is at the basis of
the development of novel integrative approaches, aiming at understanding
the function of specific sets of these components (operons,
regulons, metabolic pathways, protein complexes, etc.) in the context
of the whole organism.