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Comput Appl Biosci. 1995 Feb;11(1):13-8.

Comprehensive study on iterative algorithms of multiple sequence alignment.

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Institute for New Generation Computer Technology, (ICOT), Tokyo, Japan.


Multiple sequence alignment is an important problem in the biosciences. To date, most multiple alignment systems have employed a tree-based algorithm, which combines the results of two-way dynamic programming in a tree-like order of sequence similarity. The alignment quality is not, however, high enough when the sequence similarity is low. Once an error occurs in the alignment process, that error can never be corrected. Recently, an effective new class of algorithms has been developed. These algorithms iteratively apply dynamic programming to partially aligned sequences to improve their alignment quality. The iteration corrects any errors that may have occurred in the alignment process. Such an iterative strategy requires heuristic search methods to solve practical alignment problems. Incorporating such methods yields various iterative algorithms. This paper reports our comprehensive comparison of iterative algorithms. We proved that performance improves remarkably when using a tree-based iterative method, which iteratively refines an alignment whenever two subalignments are merged in a tree-based way. We propose a tree-dependent, restricted partitioning technique to efficiently reduce the execution time of iterative algorithms.

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