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PLoS One ; 15(2): e0228070, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32040534


We study the number Nk of length-k word matches between pairs of evolutionarily related DNA sequences, as a function of k. We show that the Jukes-Cantor distance between two genome sequences-i.e. the number of substitutions per site that occurred since they evolved from their last common ancestor-can be estimated from the slope of a function F that depends on Nk and that is affine-linear within a certain range of k. Integers kmin and kmax can be calculated depending on the length of the input sequences, such that the slope of F in the relevant range can be estimated from the values F(kmin) and F(kmax). This approach can be generalized to so-called Spaced-word Matches (SpaM), where mismatches are allowed at positions specified by a user-defined binary pattern. Based on these theoretical results, we implemented a prototype software program for alignment-free sequence comparison called Slope-SpaM. Test runs on real and simulated sequence data show that Slope-SpaM can accurately estimate phylogenetic distances for distances up to around 0.5 substitutions per position. The statistical stability of our results is improved if spaced words are used instead of contiguous words. Unlike previous alignment-free methods that are based on the number of (spaced) word matches, Slope-SpaM produces accurate results, even if sequences share only local homologies.

Genome Biol ; 20(1): 144, 2019 07 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31345254


BACKGROUND: Alignment-free (AF) sequence comparison is attracting persistent interest driven by data-intensive applications. Hence, many AF procedures have been proposed in recent years, but a lack of a clearly defined benchmarking consensus hampers their performance assessment. RESULTS: Here, we present a community resource ( to establish standards for comparing alignment-free approaches across different areas of sequence-based research. We characterize 74 AF methods available in 24 software tools for five research applications, namely, protein sequence classification, gene tree inference, regulatory element detection, genome-based phylogenetic inference, and reconstruction of species trees under horizontal gene transfer and recombination events. CONCLUSION: The interactive web service allows researchers to explore the performance of alignment-free tools relevant to their data types and analytical goals. It also allows method developers to assess their own algorithms and compare them with current state-of-the-art tools, accelerating the development of new, more accurate AF solutions.

Análise de Sequência , Benchmarking , Transferência Genética Horizontal , Internet , Filogenia , Sequências Reguladoras de Ácido Nucleico , Alinhamento de Sequência , Análise de Sequência de Proteína , Software