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Journal Article

Alignment-free detection of horizontal gene transfer between closely related bacterial genomes

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56719

Haubold,  Bernhard
Research Group Bioinformatics, Department Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Haubold_2011.pdf
(Publisher version), 157KB

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Citation

Domazet-Lošo, M., & Haubold, B. (2011). Alignment-free detection of horizontal gene transfer between closely related bacterial genomes. Mobile Genetic Elements, 1(3), 230-235. doi:10.4161/mge.1.3.18065.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-64A0-A
Abstract
Bacterial epidemics are often caused by strains that have acquired their increased virulence through horizontal gene transfer. Due to this association with disease, the detection of horizontal gene transfer continues to receive attention from microbiologists and bioinformaticians alike. Most software for detecting transfer events is based on alignments of sets of genes or of entire genomes. But despite great advances in the design of algorithms and computer programs, genome alignment remains computationally challenging. We have therefore developed an alignment-free algorithm for rapidly detecting horizontal gene transfer between closely related bacterial genomes. Our implementation of this algorithm is called alfy for “ALignment Free local homologY” and is freely available from http://guanine. evolbio.mpg.de/alfy/. In this comment we demonstrate the application of alfy to the genomes of Staphylococcus aureus. We also argue that—contrary to popular belief and in spite of increasing computer speed—algorithmic optimization is becoming more, not less, important if genome data continues to accumulate at the present rate.