101 things you (maybe) didn’t know about MacVector: #12 – Displaying Segmented Features

While most features you might encounter in DNA files have a simple start and stop location on the sequence, some features are segmented. For example, the coding sequence of a protein encoding reading frame containing introns is represented by a segmented CDS feature on the genomic DNA. MacVector has always understood that the individual segments are parts of the same segmented feature, but prior to MacVector 12.5 the segments were always drawn separately onscreen. For example, here’s the default appearance of the CFTR cystic fibrosis CDS displayed in MacVector 12.0 on the genomic sequence;

CFTR MV12_0.png

Note how the individual exons are laid out separately, each with its own label. If you click on one, all do highlight, indicating that they are all segments of the same feature. More recent versions of MacVector offer a “Segmented Hollow Arrow” feature. This can be set by double-clicking on any of the CFTR CDS graphical objects and choosing the Segmented Hollow Arrow type in the popup menu in the Symbol Editor;

Segmented Hollow Arrow Symbol Editor.png

The Map display then changes to show the CFTR CDS as a series of boxes (the exons) joined by lines (the introns) and laid out on a single level;

CFTR MV12_6.png

The arrow head is displayed on the most 3′ segment as can be seen if you zoom in;

CFTR MV12_6 detail.png

This is an article in a long running series of tips to help you get the most out of MacVector. If you want to get notified every time a new tip gets published, follow us @MacVector on twitter (or check the feed for the hashtag #101MacVectorTips) or like us on Facebook.

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