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Bioinformatics. 2013 Mar 1;29(5):645-6. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btt009. Epub 2013 Jan 12.

gKaKs: the pipeline for genome-level Ka/Ks calculation.

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  • 1Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.



gKaKs is a codon-based genome-level Ka/Ks computation pipeline developed and based on programs from four widely used packages: BLAT, BLASTALL (including bl2seq, formatdb and fastacmd), PAML (including codeml and yn00) and KaKs_Calculator (including 10 substitution rate estimation methods). gKaKs can automatically detect and eliminate frameshift mutations and premature stop codons to compute the substitution rates (Ka, Ks and Ka/Ks) between a well-annotated genome and a non-annotated genome or even a poorly assembled scaffold dataset. It is especially useful for newly sequenced genomes that have not been well annotated. We applied gKaKs to estimate the genome-wide substitution rates in five pairs of closely related species. The average Ka and Ks computed by gKaKs were consistent with previous studies. We also compared the Ka, Ks and Ka/Ks of mouse and rat orthologous protein-coding genes estimated by gKaKs and based on the alignments generated by PAL2NAL. Results from two methods are compatible.


gKaKs is implemented in Perl and is freely available on http://longlab.uchicago.edu/?q=gKaKs. The detailed user manual is available on the website.

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