General musings from the MacVector team about sequence analysis, molecular biology, the Mac in general and of course your favorite sequence analysis app for the Mac!

Category Archives: Techniques

Howtos, tips and descriptions of various techniques for using MacVector.

Workflows on designing, testing and storing primers in MacVector

MacVector has many primer tools to make designing, analyzing and cataloging your primers easy. Here are a few typical workflows. Designing primers Amplifying a gene You can design a set of primers to amplify a gene in as little as three mouse clicks. Open your sequence. Open the MAP view, and click on a feature. […]

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An overview of assembling sequencing data with MacVector’s Assembler plugin

To assemble various types of sequencing reads, follow these steps. Choose File | New | Assembly Project to create a new empty project file. Then follow one of the following: To create a de novo assembly from Sanger reads Click on the Add Reads tool bar button, then select the sequence files you wish to […]

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Use a right-click in the Contig Editor tab to see if your contig can be circularized

MacVector 16 incorporates no less than THREE different de novo assemblers, phrap, velvet and SPAdes. While all are great assemblers, with each having their own specific advantages, none of them will generate a circular sequence from input reads. However, MacVector 16 also includes a new feature to help you with this. If you are assembling […]

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Reference assembly with MacVector and Assembler

MacVector has a plugin module called Assembler that integrates directly into the main package and provides sequence assembly functionality. Assembler was designed from the ground up to be easy to use and allow users to easily manage the large amount of data that sequencing generates nowadays. The Assembler interface is built around the Assembly Project […]

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Use the BLAST Map to better identify blast hits

With the advent of cheap Next Generation Sequencing technologies, there has been an explosion of whole genome sequences deposited in BLAST databases. One consequence of this is that, particularly for sequences of bacterial origin, most of the significant hits are to entire genomes. The classic BLAST results show the sequence alignments, but give no indication […]

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Confirming a small sequencing project against a reference sequence

Align to reference is a perfect tool for mapping small sequencing projects against a reference sequence. It’s perfect for accurately and quickly: – Confirming the sequence of a cloned fragment – Sequencing across the ends of a cloned fragment to confirm the junction sequence – Screening clones from a site-specific mutagenesis experiment to identify successful […]

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Simple but accurate restriction enzyme based clone construction using Copy and Paste

The quickest and simplest way to create restriction enzyme generated constructs in MacVector is to use Edit | Copy and Edit | Paste. The strategy to use is identical to copying a paragraph from one Microsoft Word document to insert into a second document. i.e. Select the restriction enzymes flanking the source fragment in either […]

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Customizing BLAST alignment results to make mismatches more noticeable

When you run a Blast search, as well as a list of hits, you will get a list of alignments between your query sequence and each hit. As with most other text alignments in MacVector, identical matches are by default represented by a vertical line (a score greater than 1) and mismatches (whether similar or […]

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How to save contig consensus sequences from assembly projects

The MacVector Assembler module lets you create projects, populate them with Sanger Sequencing or NGS data files (or any sequences in a format that MacVector can read) and then assemble them using the popular phrap and/or Velvet assemblers. Typically, the result will be a collection of contigs that you might want to use in additional […]

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How to retrieve BLAST hits from the Aligned Sequences result tab

After a BLAST search, you can retrieve matching sequences from the Description List results tab. What you may not know is that you can do a similar thing from the Aligned Sequences result tab. One advantage of this approach is that (as in the example above) sometimes there are multiple accession numbers for a hit. […]

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