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Nucleic Acids Res. 2009 Apr;37(5):1602-15. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkn1084. Epub 2009 Jan 16.

Non-coding RNA annotation of the genome of Trichoplax adhaerens.

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Bioinformatics Group, Department of Computer Science, Interdisciplinary Center for Bioinformatics, University of Leipzig, D-04107 Leipzig, Germany.


A detailed annotation of non-protein coding RNAs is typically missing in initial releases of newly sequenced genomes. Here we report on a comprehensive ncRNA annotation of the genome of Trichoplax adhaerens, the presumably most basal metazoan whose genome has been published to-date. Since blast identified only a small fraction of the best-conserved ncRNAs--in particular rRNAs, tRNAs and some snRNAs--we developed a semi-global dynamic programming tool, GotohScan, to increase the sensitivity of the homology search. It successfully identified the full complement of major and minor spliceosomal snRNAs, the genes for RNase P and MRP RNAs, the SRP RNA, as well as several small nucleolar RNAs. We did not find any microRNA candidates homologous to known eumetazoan sequences. Interestingly, most ncRNAs, including the pol-III transcripts, appear as single-copy genes or with very small copy numbers in the Trichoplax genome.

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