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This article is part of the supplement: EGASP '05: ENCODE Genome Annotation Assessment Project

Open Access Research

Vertebrate gene finding from multiple-species alignments using a two-level strategy

David Carter* and Richard Durbin

Author Affiliations

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SA, UK

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Genome Biology 2006, 7(Suppl 1):S6  doi:10.1186/gb-2006-7-s1-s6

Published: 7 August 2006

Abstract

Background

One way in which the accuracy of gene structure prediction in vertebrate DNA sequences can be improved is by analyzing alignments with multiple related species, since functional regions of genes tend to be more conserved.

Results

We describe DOGFISH, a vertebrate gene finder consisting of a cleanly separated site classifier and structure predictor. The classifier scores potential splice sites and other features, using sequence alignments between multiple vertebrate species, while the structure predictor hypothesizes coding transcripts by combining these scores using a simple model of gene structure. This also identifies and assigns confidence scores to possible additional exons. Performance is assessed on the ENCODE regions. We predict transcripts and exons across the whole human genome, and identify over 10,000 high confidence new coding exons not in the Ensembl gene set.

Conclusion

We present a practical multiple species gene prediction method. Accuracy improves as additional species, up to at least eight, are introduced. The novel predictions of the whole-genome scan should support efficient experimental verification.