jpHMM: recombination analysis in viruses with circular genomes such as the hepatitis B virus

Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Jul;40(Web Server issue):W193-8. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks414. Epub 2012 May 16.


jpHMM is a very accurate and widely used tool for recombination detection in genomic sequences of HIV-1. Here, we present an extension of jpHMM to analyze recombinations in viruses with circular genomes such as the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Sequence analysis of circular genomes is usually performed on linearized sequences using linear models. Since linear models are unable to model dependencies between nucleotides at the 5'- and 3'-end of a sequence, this can result in inaccurate predictions of recombination breakpoints and thus in incorrect classification of viruses with circular genomes. The proposed circular jpHMM takes into account the circularity of the genome and is not biased against recombination breakpoints close to the 5'- or 3'-end of the linearized version of the circular genome. It can be applied automatically to any query sequence without assuming a specific origin for the sequence coordinates. We apply the method to genomic sequences of HBV and visualize its output in a circular form. jpHMM is available online at for download and as a web server for HIV-1 and HBV sequences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Genome, Viral*
  • Genomics / methods
  • Hepatitis B virus / genetics*
  • Internet
  • Markov Chains
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Software*