Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Research Notes and BioMed Central.

Open Access Open Badges Technical Note

Expedited batch processing and analysis of transposon insertions

Jeremy D Smith123 and David A Ray12*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA

2 Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA

3 Institute for Genomics, Biocomputing, and Biotechnology, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:482  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-482

Published: 4 November 2011



With advances in sequencing technology, greater and greater amounts of eukaryotic genome data are becoming available. Often, large portions of these genomes consist of transposable elements, frequently accounting for 50% or more in vertebrates. Each transposable element family may have thousands or tens of thousands of individual copies within a given genome, and therefore it can take an exorbitant amount of time and effort to process data in a meaningful fashion.


In order to combat this problem, we developed a set of bioinformatics techniques and programs to streamline the analysis. This includes a unique Perl script which automates the process of taking BLAST, Repeatmasker and similar data to extract and manipulate the hit sequences from the genome. This script, called Process_hits uses an object-oriented methodology to compile all hit locations from a given file for processing, organize this data into useable categories, and output it in multiple formats.


The program proved capable of handling large amounts of transposon data in an efficient fashion. It is equipped with a number of useful sub-functions, each of which is contained within its own sub-module to allow for greater expandability and as a foundation for future program design.