Question: How Do You Know A Msa Is Informative Enough To Use Sequence Analysis Tools On It?
gravatar for sayonidas03
7.6 years ago by
London, U.K
sayonidas03100 wrote:

Hi all,

I have multiple sequence alignments (MSAs) of clusters of sequences. I would like to know how I assess whether my MSA is informative enough (or say diverse enough) to apply sequence analysis tools like finding conserved positions or specificity determining positions. When I use Scorecons (, it gives me a Dops score (diversity of alignment score) which helps me to an extent (100 for very informative or diverse sequences in a cluster and 0 for all exactly similar sequences in a MSA). However, I do not know the lowest/threshold Dops score which can be used. Also if there are any other ways of finding the same, kindly let me know how everyone tackles this problem.

I guess otherwise the results of the sequence analysis would not make sense at all, right?

multiple-alignment sequence • 2.5k views
ADD COMMENTlink modified 7.6 years ago by Pawel Szczesny3.2k • written 7.6 years ago by sayonidas03100

A couple of interesting thoughts in Robert Edgar's blog, here:

ADD REPLYlink written 7.6 years ago by Manu Prestat4.0k
gravatar for Pawel Szczesny
7.6 years ago by
Pawel Szczesny3.2k
Pawel Szczesny3.2k wrote:

I would say that the scope of the analysis (in your case, it's the diversity of the MSA) depends on the question you're really trying to answer. In biology (bioinformatics) there are no absolute thresholds for anything. So in principle, I wouldn't ask if an alignment is informative enough, but if it contains all the sequences I'm interested in, and no other sequences. The other test I often use is:

  • convert an MSA to a HMM
  • run it against NR or UNIPROT
  • inspect the results to see how many obvious false positives are there with good E-value (and vice versa, what should be there with good E-value but is missing)

Visual inspection suggested by cacaucenturion is also worth trying, although I would say that it requires a bit of experience (knowledge-based intuition, as some say).

ADD COMMENTlink written 7.6 years ago by Pawel Szczesny3.2k
gravatar for cacaucenturion
7.6 years ago by
cacaucenturion210 wrote:

1.use eyes to see. 2.use software to help you find informative regions i.e. Gblock

ADD COMMENTlink written 7.6 years ago by cacaucenturion210
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