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Nucleic Acids Res. 2007;35(1):288-98. Epub 2006 Dec 14.

Operon prediction using both genome-specific and general genomic information.

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Computational Systems Biology Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.


We have carried out a systematic analysis of the contribution of a set of selected features that include three new features to the accuracy of operon prediction. Our analyses have led to a number of new insights about operon prediction, including that (i) different features have different levels of discerning power when used on adjacent gene pairs with different ranges of intergenic distance, (ii) certain features are universally useful for operon prediction while others are more genome-specific and (iii) the prediction reliability of operons is dependent on intergenic distances. Based on these new insights, our newly developed operon-prediction program achieves more accurate operon prediction than the previous ones, and it uses features that are most readily available from genomic sequences. Our prediction results indicate that our (non-linear) decision tree-based classifier can predict operons in a prokaryotic genome very accurately when a substantial number of operons in the genome are already known. For example, the prediction accuracy of our program can reach 90.2 and 93.7% on Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli genomes, respectively. When no such information is available, our (linear) logistic function-based classifier can reach the prediction accuracy at 84.6 and 83.3% for E.coli and B.subtilis, respectively.

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