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Computation and analysis of genomic multi-sequence alignments.

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  • McGill Centre for Bioinformatics, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. email: blanchem@mcb.mcgill.ca


Multi-sequence alignments of large genomic regions are at the core of many computational genome-annotation approaches aimed at identifying coding regions, RNA genes, regulatory regions, and other functional features. Such alignments also underlie many genome-evolution studies. Here we review recent computational advances in the area of multi-sequence alignment, focusing on methods suitable for aligning whole vertebrate genomes. We introduce the key algorithmic ideas in use today, and identify publicly available resources for computing, accessing, and visualizing genomic alignments. Finally, we describe the latest alignment-based approaches to identify and characterize various types of functional sequences. Key areas of research are identified and directions for future improvements are suggested.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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