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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
  2. Abstract

    Short interspersed nuclear elements (SINEs) are a widespread type of small transposable element (TE). With increasing evidence for their impact on gene function and genome evolution in plants, accurate genome-scale SINE annotation becomes a fundamental step for studying the regulatory roles of SINEs and their relationship with other components in the genomes. Despite the overall promising progress made in TE annotation, SINE annotation remains a major challenge. Unlike some other TEs, SINEs are short and heterogeneous, and they usually lack well-conserved sequence or structural features. Thus, current SINE annotation tools have either low sensitivity or high false discovery rates. Given the demand and challenges, we aimed to provide a more accurate and efficient SINE annotation tool for plant genomes. The pipeline starts with maximizing the pool of SINE candidates via profile hidden Markov model-based homology search and de novo SINE search using structural features. Then, it excludes the false positives by integrating all known features of SINEs and the features of other types of TEs that can often be misannotated as SINEs. As a result, the pipeline substantially improves the tradeoff between sensitivity and accuracy, with both values close to or over 90%. We tested our tool in Arabidopsismore »thaliana and rice (Oryza sativa), and the results show that our tool competes favorably against existing SINE annotation tools. The simplicity and effectiveness of this tool would potentially be useful for generating more accurate SINE annotations for other plant species. The pipeline is freely available at

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  3. Abstract Motivation

    RNA virus populations contain different but genetically related strains, all infecting an individual host. Reconstruction of the viral haplotypes is a fundamental step to characterize the virus population, predict their viral phenotypes and finally provide important information for clinical treatment and prevention. Advances of the next-generation sequencing technologies open up new opportunities to assemble full-length haplotypes. However, error-prone short reads, high similarities between related strains, an unknown number of haplotypes pose computational challenges for reference-free haplotype reconstruction. There is still much room to improve the performance of existing haplotype assembly tools.


    In this work, we developed a de novo haplotype reconstruction tool named PEHaplo, which employs paired-end reads to distinguish highly similar strains for viral quasispecies data. It was applied on both simulated and real quasispecies data, and the results were benchmarked against several recently published de novo haplotype reconstruction tools. The comparison shows that PEHaplo outperforms the benchmarked tools in a comprehensive set of metrics.

    Availability and implementation

    The source code and the documentation of PEHaplo are available at

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.