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J Mol Biol. 1987 Oct 20;197(4):723-8.

A new algorithm for best subsequence alignments with application to tRNA-rRNA comparisons.

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  • 1Department of Mathematics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles 90089-1113.


The algorithm of Smith & Waterman for identification of maximally similar subsequences is extended to allow identification of all non-intersecting similar subsequences with similarity score at or above some preset level. The resulting alignments are found in order of score, with the highest scoring alignment first. In the case of single gaps or multiple gaps weighted linear with gap length, the algorithm is extremely efficient, taking very little time beyond that of the initial calculation of the matrix. The algorithm is applied to comparisons of tRNA-rRNA sequences from Escherichia coli. A statistical analysis is important for proper evaluation of the results, which differ substantially from the results of an earlier analysis of the same sequences by Bloch and colleagues.

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