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Fragrep: an efficient search tool for fragmented patterns in genomic sequences.

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  • 1Department of Combinatorics and Geometry, CAS/MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China.


Many classes of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs; including Y RNAs, vault RNAs, RNase P RNAs, and MRP RNAs, as well as a novel class recently discovered in Dictyostelium discoideum) can be characterized by a pattern of short but well-conserved sequence elements that are separated by poorly conserved regions of sometimes highly variable lengths. Local alignment algorithms such as BLAST are therefore ill-suited for the discovery of new homologs of such ncRNAs in genomic sequences. The Fragrep tool instead implements an efficient algorithm for detecting the pattern fragments that occur in a given order. For each pattern fragment, the mismatch tolerance and bounds on the length of the intervening sequences can be specified separately. Furthermore, matches can be ranked by a statistically well-motivated scoring scheme.

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