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Trends Genet. 2002 Jul;18(7):335-7.

Distinguishing the ORFs from the ELFs: short bacterial genes and the annotation of genomes.

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  • Dept of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, 233 Life Sciences South, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA. hochman@email.arizona.edu


A substantial fraction of hypothetical open reading frames (ORFs) in completely sequenced bacterial genomes are short, suggesting that many are not genes but random stretches of DNA. Although it is not feasible to authenticate the coding capacity of all such regions experimentally, comparisons of ORFs in related genomes can expose those that encode functional proteins.

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