Background Miniature inverted repeat transposable element (MITE) is a short transposable element, carrying no protein-coding regions. However, its high proliferation rate and sequence-specific insertion preference renders it as a good genetic tool for both natural evolution and experimental insertion mutagenesis. Recently active MITE copies are those with clear signals of Terminal Inverted Repeats (TIRs) and Direct Repeats (DRs), and are recently translocated into their current sites. Their proliferation ability renders them good candidates for the investigation of genomic evolution. Results This study optimizes the C++ code and running pipeline of the MITE Uncovering SysTem (MUST) by assuming no prior knowledge of MITEs required from the users, and the current version, MUSTv2, shows significantly increased detection accuracy for recently active MITEs, compared with similar programs. The running speed is also significantly increased compared with MUSTv1. We prepared a benchmark dataset, the simulated genome with 150 MITE copies for researchers who may be of interest. Conclusions MUSTv2 represents an accurate detection program of recently active MITE copies, which is complementary to the existing template-based MITE mapping programs. We believe that the release of MUSTv2 will greatly facilitate the genome annotation and structural analysis of the bioOMIC big data researchers.
Keywords: MUST program; direct repeat; miniature inverted repeat transposable element (MITE); recently active MITE copy; terminal inverted repeat.