gff2sequence, a new user friendly tool for the generation of genomic sequences

BioData Min. 2013 Sep 11;6(1):15. doi: 10.1186/1756-0381-6-15.


Background: General Feature Format (GFF) files are used to store genome features such as genes, exons, introns, primary transcripts etc. Although many software packages (i.e. ab initio gene prediction programs) can annotate features by using such a standard, a small number of tools have been developed to extract the corresponding sequence information from the original genome. However the present tools do not execute either a quality control or a customizable filter of the annotated features is available.

Findings: gff2sequence is a program that extracts nucleotide/protein sequences from a genomic multifasta by using the information provided by a general feature format file. While a graphical user interface makes this software very easy to use, a C++ algorithm allows high performance together with low hardware demand. The software also allows the extraction of the genic portions such as the untranslated and the coding sequences. Moreover a highly customizable quality control pipeline can be used to deal with anomalous splicing sites, incorrect open reading frames and not canonical characters within the retrieved sequences.

Conclusions: gff2sequence is a user friendly program that allows the generation of highly customizable sequence datasets by processing a general feature format file. The presence of a wide range of quality filters makes this tool also suitable for refining the ab initio gene predictions.