CMV: visualization for RNA and protein family models and their comparisons

Bioinformatics. 2018 Aug 1;34(15):2676-2678. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/bty158.


Summary: A standard method for the identification of novel RNAs or proteins is homology search via probabilistic models. One approach relies on the definition of families, which can be encoded as covariance models (CMs) or Hidden Markov Models (HMMs). While being powerful tools, their complexity makes it tedious to investigate them in their (default) tabulated form. This specifically applies to the interpretation of comparisons between multiple models as in family clans. The Covariance model visualization tools (CMV) visualize CMs or HMMs to: I) Obtain an easily interpretable representation of HMMs and CMs; II) Put them in context with the structural sequence alignments they have been created from; III) Investigate results of model comparisons and highlight regions of interest.

Availability and implementation: Source code (, web-service (

Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Nucleic Acid Conformation*
  • Protein Conformation*
  • RNA / chemistry
  • RNA / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment / methods*
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein / methods*
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA / methods*
  • Software*


  • RNA