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Genomics. 1994 Oct;23(3):540-51.

Gene structure prediction by linguistic methods.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104.


The higher-order structure of genes and other features of biological sequences can be described by means of formal grammars. These grammars can then be used by general-purpose parsers to detect and to assemble such structures by means of syntactic pattern recognition. We describe a grammar and parser for eukaryotic protein-encoding genes, which by some measures is as effective as current connectionist and combinatorial algorithms in predicting gene structures for sequence database entries. Parameters of the grammar rules are optimized for several different species, and mixing experiments are performed to determine the degree of species specificity and the relative importance of compositional, signal-based, and syntactic components in gene prediction.

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