Functional annotations in bacterial genomes based on small RNA signatures



Jayavel Sridhar1 and Ziauddin Ahamed Rafi1, *



1Centre of Excellence in Bioinformatics, School of Biotechnology, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai 625021, Tamilnadu, India


Email; * Corresponding author


Article Type




received March 12, 2008; accepted March 25, 2008; published April 04, 2008


One of the key challenges in computational genomics is annotating coding genes and identification of regulatory RNAs in complete genomes. An attempt is made in this study which uses the regulatory RNA locations and their conserved flanking genes identified within the genomic backbone of template genome to search for similar RNA locations in query genomes. The search is based on recently reported coexistence of small RNAs and their conserved flanking genes in related genomes. Based on our study, 54 additional sRNA locations and functions of 96 uncharacterized genes are predicted in two draft genomes viz., Serratia marcesens Db1 and Yersinia enterocolitica 8081. Although most of the identified additional small RNA regions and their corresponding flanking genes are homologous in nature, the proposed anchoring technique could successfully identify four non-homologous small RNA regions in Y. enterocolitica genome also. The KEGG Orthology (KO) based automated functional predictions confirms the predicted functions of 65 flanking genes having defined KO numbers, out of the total 96 predictions made by this method. This coexistence based method shows more sensitivity than controlled vocabularies in locating orthologous gene pairs even in the absence of defined Orthology numbers. All functional predictions made by this study in Y. enterocolitica 8081 were confirmed by the recently published complete genome sequence and annotations. This study also reports the possible regions of gene rearrangements in these two genomes and further characterization of such RNA regions could shed more light on their possible role in genome evolution.



functional annotation; sRNA; KO; KOBAS; Bio-ontology; flanking genes


Sridhar and Rafi, Bioinformation 2(7): 284-295 (2008)


Edited by

P. Kangueane






Biomedical Informatics



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