Benchmarking spliced alignment programs including Spaln2, an extended version of Spaln that incorporates additional species-specific features

Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Nov 1;40(20):e161. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks708. Epub 2012 Jul 30.


Spliced alignment plays a central role in the precise identification of eukaryotic gene structures. Even though many spliced alignment programs have been developed, recent rapid progress in DNA sequencing technologies demands further improvements in software tools. Benchmarking algorithms under various conditions is an indispensable task for the development of better software; however, there is a dire lack of appropriate datasets usable for benchmarking spliced alignment programs. In this study, we have constructed two types of datasets: simulated sequence datasets and actual cross-species datasets. The datasets are designed to correspond to various real situations, i.e. divergent eukaryotic species, different types of reference sequences, and the wide divergence between query and target sequences. In addition, we have developed an extended version of our program Spaln, which incorporates two additional features to the scoring scheme of the original version, and examined this extended version, Spaln2, together with the original Spaln and other representative aligners based on our benchmark datasets. Although the effects of the modifications are not individually striking, Spaln2 is consistently most accurate and reasonably fast in most practical cases, especially for plants and fungi and for increasingly divergent pairs of target and query sequences.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Benchmarking
  • Humans
  • Neurospora crassa / genetics
  • RNA Splicing
  • Sequence Alignment / methods*
  • Software*
  • Species Specificity