DNA replication begins at replication origins in all three domains of life. Identification and characterization of replication origins are important not only in providing insights into the structure and function of the replication origins but also in understanding the regulatory mechanisms of the initiation step in DNA replication. The Z-curve method has been used in the identification of replication origins in archaeal genomes successfully since 2002. Furthermore, the Web servers of Ori-Finder and Ori-Finder 2 have been developed to predict replication origins in both bacterial and archaeal genomes based on the Z-curve method, and the replication origins with manual curation have been collected into an online database, DoriC. Ori-Finder system and DoriC database are currently used in the research field of DNA replication origins in prokaryotes, including: (i) identification of oriC regions in bacterial and archaeal genomes; (ii) discovery and analysis of the conserved sequences within oriC regions; and (iii) strand-biased analysis of bacterial genomes. Up to now, more and more predicted results by Ori-Finder system were supported by subsequent experiments, and Ori-Finder system has been used to identify the replication origins in > 100 newly sequenced prokaryotes in their genome reports. In addition, the data in DoriC database have been widely used in the large-scale analyses of replication origins and strand bias in prokaryotic genomes. Here, we review the development of Ori-Finder system and DoriC database as well as their applications. Some future directions and aspects for extending the application of Ori-Finder and DoriC are also presented.
Keywords: DNA replication; Z-curve; prokaryotic genome; replication origin.
© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.