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!

Tag Archives: alignments

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 align DNA sequences based on their amino acid translations

A new tool in MacVector 15 allows you to align DNA sequences based on their amino acid translated sequence. For most alignments in MacVector you will use the Multiple Sequence Alignment tool. This allows you to align DNA or protein sequences using either Muscle, Clustalw or T-Coffee. MacVector 15 now allows you to align DNA […]

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Tweak your DNA Matrix for better Align To Folder searches with primers

You can use the Database | Align To Folder function as your own “personal BLAST search”, comparing a sequence to all of the sequences in a target folder hierarchy. The files in the folder can be in any format MacVector recognizes, including fasta and fastq formatted multiple sequence files. Many users take this approach to […]

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Know Your Alignments

We often get asked “how do I do an alignment” using MacVector? Well, the answer to that is always “it depends”, and it depends on what you want to learn about your sequence(s). Here’s a quick summary of the different types of alignments and what you would use them for: Multiple Sequence Alignment (File | […]

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Changing the sequence alignment match and mismatch characters

Many MacVector analysis functions (e.g. Align To Folder, Create Dotplot and Internet Blast Search) display alignments where there is (by default) a vertical “|” character indicating a match between the query and database sequences. While this is very useful for identifying matching residues, sometimes you might be more interested in those residues that do NOT […]

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Use dot plots to quickly confirm similarity between two sequences

We occasionally get e-mails from users who think that two sequences should align using ClustalW or the Align To Reference function, but the algorithms cannot find any meaningful matches. In these cases, the first thing I do is open both sequences and then create a dot-plot between them using the Analyze | Create Dotplot | […]

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How to remove gaps from a sequence

There are often times when you end up with a sequence containing gaps, especially if you make extensive use of the Align To Reference, Contig Assembly or Multiple Sequence Alignment interfaces to generate consensus sequences. You can select and copy the consensus sequence, or even individual aligned reads, from the Align To Reference and Contig […]

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Use Analyze -> Align To Reference to align ABI trace files

One of the most common tasks in any molecular biology lab is the need to re-sequence a piece of DNA. Perhaps it is a cloned PCR fragment where you want to confirm the sequence, perhaps you are sequencing across a cloning junction, or maybe screening clones for a successful mutagenesis experiment. Many users immediately think […]

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101 things you (maybe) didn’t know about MacVector: #45 – Automatically annotating sequences using BLAST

The Database | Auto-annotate Sequence… tool is a great way to automatically annotate a bare DNA sequence. If you are unfamiliar with this, check out this previous tip. Auto-annotate is an incredibly simple (and fast!) way to annotate a bare sequence, but it does rely on you having a folder full of sequences containing all […]

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Quickly checking a small sequencing project

For analysing large sequencing datasets, whether de novo or mapping reads against a reference you need Assembler. However, many times you do not need a powerful tool but just a quick way to check some sequencing data. For example for checking small sequencing projects, such as a site directed mutagenesis, looking for SNPs in a […]

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