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Sci Rep. 2017 Apr 6;7:46070. doi: 10.1038/srep46070.

An improved method for identification of small non-coding RNAs in bacteria using support vector machine.

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Biomedical Informatics Centre, National Institute Of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Kalyani, Kalyani, West Bengal, India.
Division of Clinical Medicine, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.


Bacterial small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) are not translated into proteins, but act as functional RNAs. They are involved in diverse biological processes like virulence, stress response and quorum sensing. Several high-throughput techniques have enabled identification of sRNAs in bacteria, but experimental detection remains a challenge and grossly incomplete for most species. Thus, there is a need to develop computational tools to predict bacterial sRNAs. Here, we propose a computational method to identify sRNAs in bacteria using support vector machine (SVM) classifier. The primary sequence and secondary structure features of experimentally-validated sRNAs of Salmonella Typhimurium LT2 (SLT2) was used to build the optimal SVM model. We found that a tri-nucleotide composition feature of sRNAs achieved an accuracy of 88.35% for SLT2. We validated the SVM model also on the experimentally-detected sRNAs of E. coli and Salmonella Typhi. The proposed model had robustly attained an accuracy of 81.25% and 88.82% for E. coli K-12 and S. Typhi Ty2, respectively. We confirmed that this method significantly improved the identification of sRNAs in bacteria. Furthermore, we used a sliding window-based method and identified sRNAs from complete genomes of SLT2, S. Typhi Ty2 and E. coli K-12 with sensitivities of 89.09%, 83.33% and 67.39%, respectively.

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