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A clustering method for repeat analysis in DNA sequences

Natalia Volfovsky*, Brian J Haas and Steven L Salzberg

Author Affiliations

The Institute for Genomic Research, 9712 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850, USA

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Genome Biology 2001, 2:research0027-research0027.11  doi:10.1186/gb-2001-2-8-research0027

Published: 1 August 2001



A computational system for analysis of the repetitive structure of genomic sequences is described. The method uses suffix trees to organize and search the input sequences; this data structure has been used previously for efficient computation of exact and degenerate repeats.


The resulting software tool collects all repeat classes and outputs summary statistics as well as a file containing multiple sequences (multi fasta), that can be used as the target of searches. Its use is demonstrated here on several complete microbial genomes, the entire Arabidopsis thaliana genome, and a large collection of rice bacterial artificial chromosome end sequences.


We propose a new clustering method for analysis of the repeat data captured in suffix trees. This method has been incorporated into a system that can find repeats in individual genome sequences or sets of sequences, and that can organize those repeats into classes. It quickly and accurately creates repeat databases from small and large genomes. The associated software (RepeatFinder), should prove helpful in the analysis of repeat structure for both complete and partial genome sequences.