GERONIMO: A tool for systematic retrieval of structural RNAs in a broad evolutionary context


Publikace nespadá pod Lékařskou fakultu, ale pod Středoevropský technologický institut. Oficiální stránka publikace je na webu

KILAR Agata Magdalena FAJKUS Petr FAJKUS Jiří

Rok publikování 2023
Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj GigaScience
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Středoevropský technologický institut

Klíčová slova evolution; high-throughput pipeline; sequence homology searches; Snakemake
Popis Background: While web-based tools such as BLAST have made identifying conserved gene homologs appear easy, genes with variable sequences pose significant challenges. Functionally important noncoding RNAs (ncRNA) often show low sequence conservation due to genetic variations, including insertions and deletions. Rather than conserved sequences, these RNAs possess highly conserved structural features across a broad phylogenetic range. Such features can be identified using the covariance models approach, which combines sequence alignment with a secondary RNA structure consensus. However, running standard implementation of that approach (Infernal) requires advanced bioinformatics knowledge compared to user-friendly web services like BLAST. The issue is partially addressed by RNAcentral, which can be used to search for homologs across a broad range of ncRNA sequence collections from diverse organisms but not across the genome assemblies. Results: Here, we present GERONIMO, which conducts evolutionary searches across hundreds of genomes in a fully automated way. It provides results extended with taxonomy context, as summary tables and visualizations, to facilitate analysis for user convenience. Additionally, GERONIMO supplements homologous sequences with genomic regions to analyze promoter motifs or gene collinearity, enhancing the validation of results. Conclusion: GERONIMO, built using Snakemake, has undergone extensive testing on hundreds of genomes, establishing itself as a valuable tool in the identification of ncRNA homologs across diverse taxonomic groups. Consequently, GERONIMO facilitates the investigation of the evolutionary patterns of functionally significant ncRNA players, whose understanding has previously been limited to individual organisms and close relatives.
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