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M-GCAT: interactively and efficiently constructing large-scale multiple genome comparison frameworks in closely related species

Todd J Treangen* and Xavier Messeguer

Author Affiliations

Dept. of Computer Science, Technical University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain

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BMC Bioinformatics 2006, 7:433  ) doi:10.1186/1471-2105-7-433

Published: 5 October 2006

Abstract

Background

Due to recent advances in whole genome shotgun sequencing and assembly technologies, the financial cost of decoding an organism's DNA has been drastically reduced, resulting in a recent explosion of genomic sequencing projects. This increase in related genomic data will allow for in depth studies of evolution in closely related species through multiple whole genome comparisons.

Results

To facilitate such comparisons, we present an interactive multiple genome comparison and alignment tool, M-GCAT, that can efficiently construct multiple genome comparison frameworks in closely related species. M-GCAT is able to compare and identify highly conserved regions in up to 20 closely related bacterial species in minutes on a standard computer, and as many as 90 (containing 75 cloned genomes from a set of 15 published enterobacterial genomes) in an hour. M-GCAT also incorporates a novel comparative genomics data visualization interface allowing the user to globally and locally examine and inspect the conserved regions and gene annotations.

Conclusion

M-GCAT is an interactive comparative genomics tool well suited for quickly generating multiple genome comparisons frameworks and alignments among closely related species. M-GCAT is freely available for download for academic and non-commercial use at: http://alggen.lsi.upc.es/recerca/align/mgcat/intro-mgcat.html webcite.