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      The ribosomal database project (RDP-II): introducing myRDP space and quality controlled public data


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          Substantial new features have been implemented at the Ribosomal Database Project in response to the increased importance of high-throughput rRNA sequence analysis in microbial ecology and related disciplines. The most important changes include quality analysis, including chimera detection, for all available rRNA sequences and the introduction of myRDP Space, a new web component designed to help researchers place their own data in context with the RDP's data. In addition, new video tutorials describe how to use RDP features. Details about RDP data and analytical functions can be found at the RDP-II website ( http://rdp.cme.msu.edu/).

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          MEGA3: Integrated software for Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis and sequence alignment.

          S. KUMAR (2004)
          With its theoretical basis firmly established in molecular evolutionary and population genetics, the comparative DNA and protein sequence analysis plays a central role in reconstructing the evolutionary histories of species and multigene families, estimating rates of molecular evolution, and inferring the nature and extent of selective forces shaping the evolution of genes and genomes. The scope of these investigations has now expanded greatly owing to the development of high-throughput sequencing techniques and novel statistical and computational methods. These methods require easy-to-use computer programs. One such effort has been to produce Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis (MEGA) software, with its focus on facilitating the exploration and analysis of the DNA and protein sequence variation from an evolutionary perspective. Currently in its third major release, MEGA3 contains facilities for automatic and manual sequence alignment, web-based mining of databases, inference of the phylogenetic trees, estimation of evolutionary distances and testing evolutionary hypotheses. This paper provides an overview of the statistical methods, computational tools, and visual exploration modules for data input and the results obtainable in MEGA.
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            The Ribosomal Database Project (RDP-II): sequences and tools for high-throughput rRNA analysis

            The Ribosomal Database Project (RDP-II) provides the research community with aligned and annotated rRNA gene sequences, along with analysis services and a phylogenetically consistent taxonomic framework for these data. Updated monthly, these services are made available through the RDP-II website (http://rdp.cme.msu.edu/). RDP-II release 9.21 (August 2004) contains 101 632 bacterial small subunit rRNA gene sequences in aligned and annotated format. High-throughput tools for initial taxonomic placement, identification of related sequences, probe and primer testing, data navigation and subalignment download are provided. The RDP-II email address for questions or comments is rdpstaff@msu.edu.
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              At least 1 in 20 16S rRNA sequence records currently held in public repositories is estimated to contain substantial anomalies.

              A new method for detecting chimeras and other anomalies within 16S rRNA sequence records is presented. Using this method, we screened 1,399 sequences from 19 phyla, as defined by the Ribosomal Database Project, release 9, update 22, and found 5.0% to harbor substantial errors. Of these, 64.3% were obvious chimeras, 14.3% were unidentified sequencing errors, and 21.4% were highly degenerate. In all, 11 phyla contained obvious chimeras, accounting for 0.8 to 11% of the records for these phyla. Many chimeras (43.1%) were formed from parental sequences belonging to different phyla. While most comprised two fragments, 13.7% were composed of at least three fragments, often from three different sources. A separate analysis of the Bacteroidetes phylum (2,739 sequences) also revealed 5.8% records to be anomalous, of which 65.4% were apparently chimeric. Overall, we conclude that, as a conservative estimate, 1 in every 20 public database records is likely to be corrupt. Our results support concerns recently expressed over the quality of the public repositories. With 16S rRNA sequence data increasingly playing a dominant role in bacterial systematics and environmental biodiversity studies, it is vital that steps be taken to improve screening of sequences prior to submission. To this end, we have implemented our method as a program with a simple-to-use graphic user interface that is capable of running on a range of computer platforms. The program is called Pintail, is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License open source license, and is freely available from our website at http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/biosi/research/biosoft/.

                Author and article information

                Nucleic Acids Res
                Nucleic Acids Res
                Nucleic Acids Research
                Nucleic Acids Research
                Oxford University Press
                January 2007
                7 November 2006
                07 November 2006
                : 35
                : Database issue
                : D169-D172
                1Center for Microbial Ecology, Biomedical Physical Sciences, Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 48824-4320, USA
                2Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Biomedical Physical Sciences, Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 48824-4320, USA
                Author notes
                *To whom correspondence should be addressed. Tel: +1 517 353 3842; Fax: +1 517 353 8957; Email: colej@ 123456msu.edu
                © 2006 The Author(s)

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/uk/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.




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