A computational tool for the genomic identification of regions of unusual compositional properties and its utilization in the detection of horizontally transferred sequences

Catherine Putonti, Yi Luo, Charles Katili, Sergey Chumakov, George E. Fox, Dan Graur, Yuriy Fofanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Similarity Plot (S-plot) is a Windows-based application for large-scale comparisons and 2-dimensional visualization of compositional similarities between genomic sequences. This application combines 2 approaches widely used in genomics: window analysis of statistical characteristics along genomes and dot-plot visual representation. S-plot is effective in identifying highly similar regions between genomes as well as regions with unusual compositional properties (RUCPs) within a single genome, which may be indicative of horizontal gene transfer or of locus-specific selective forces. We use S-plot to identify regions that may have originated through horizontal gene transfer through a 2-step approach, by first comparing a genomic sequence to itself and, subsequently, comparing it to the genomic sequence of a closely related taxon. Moreover, by comparing these suspect sequences to one another, we can estimate a minimum number of sources for these putative xenologous sequences. We illustrate the uses of S-plot in a comparison involving Escherichia coli K12 and E. coli O157:H7. In O157:H7, we found 145 regions that have most probably originated through horizontal gene transfer. By using S-plot to compare each of these regions with 277 completely sequenced prokaryotic genomes, 1 sequence was found to have similar compositional properties to the Yersinia pseudotuberculosis genome, indicating a transfer from a Yersinia or Yersinia relative. Based upon our analysis of RUCPs in O157:H7, we infer that there were at least 53 sources of horizontally transferred sequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1863-1868
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular biology and evolution
Volume23
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006

Keywords

  • Escherichia coli K12
  • Escherichia coli O157:H7
  • Horizontal (lateral) gene transfer
  • Sequence composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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