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Nucleic Acids Res. 1994 Jun 25;22(12):2360-5.

HOVERGEN: a database of homologous vertebrate genes.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Biométrie, Génétique et Biologie des Populations, Université Claude Bernard, Lyon I, URA-CNRS 243, Villeurbanne, France.


Comparison of homologous genes is a major step for many studies related to genome structure, function or evolution. Similarity search programs easily find genes homologous to a given sequence. However, only very tedious manual procedures allow the retrieval of all sets of homologous genes sequenced for a given set of species. Moreover, this search often generates errors due to the complexity of data to be managed simultaneously: phylogenetic trees, alignments, taxonomy, sequences and related information. HOVERGEN helps to solve these problems by integrating all this information. HOVERGEN corresponds to GenBank sequences from all vertebrate species, with some data corrected, clarified, or completed, notably to address the problem of redundancy. Coding sequences have been classified in gene families. Protein multiple alignments and phylogenetic trees have been calculated for each family. Sequences and related information have been structured in an ACNUC database which permits complex selections. A graphical interface has been developed to visualize and edit trees. Genes are displayed in color, according to their taxonomy. Users have directly access to all information attached to sequences and to multiple alignments simply by clicking on genes. This graphical tool gives thus a rapid and simple access to all data necessary to interpret homology relationships between genes. HOVERGEN allows the user to easily select sets of homologous vertebrate genes, and thus is particularly useful for comparative sequence analysis, or molecular evolution studies.

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