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Comput Appl Biosci. 1994 Jun;10(3):301-7.

A workbench for large-scale sequence homology analysis.

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  • 1Sanger Centre, Hinxton Hall, Cambridge, UK.


When routinely analysing very long stretches of DNA sequences produced by genome sequencing projects, detailed analysis of database search results becomes exceedingly time consuming. To reduce the tedious browsing of large quantities of protein similarities, two programs, MSPcrunch and Blixem, were developed, which assist in processing the results from the database search programs in the BLAST suite. MSPcrunch removes biased composition and redundant matches while keeping weak matches that are consistent with a larger gapped alignment. This makes BLAST searching in practice more sensitive and reduces the risk of overlooking distant similarities. Blixem is a multiple sequence alignment viewer for X-windows which makes it significantly easier to scan and evaluate the matches ratified by MSPcrunch. In Blixem, matches to the translated DNA query sequence are simultaneously aligned in three frames. Also, the distribution of matches over the whole DNA query is displayed. Examples of usage are drawn from 36 C. elegans cosmid clones totalling 1.2 megabases, to which these tools were applied.

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