Open reading frame parameters

This opens the dialog displayed in figure 16.8:

Image readingframenext
Figure 16.8: Parameters for the Reading Frame tool.

The adjustable parameters for the search are:

Using open reading frames for gene finding is a fairly simple approach which is likely to predict genes which are not real. Setting a relatively high minimum length of the ORFs will reduce the number of false positive predictions, but at the same time short genes may be missed (see figure 16.9).

Image orf_coli
Figure 16.9: The first 12,000 positions of the E. coli sequence NC_000913 downloaded from GenBank. The blue (dark) annotations are the genes while the yellow (brighter) annotations are the ORFs with a length of at least 100 amino acids. On the positive strand around position 11,000, a gene starts before the ORF. This is due to the use of the standard genetic code rather than the bacterial code. This particular gene starts with CTG, which is a start codon in bacteria. Two short genes are entirely missing, while a handful of open reading frames do not correspond to any of the annotated genes.

Click Finish to start the tool.

Finding open reading frames is often a good first step in annotating sequences such as cloning vectors or bacterial genomes. For eukaryotic genes, ORF determination may not always be very helpful since the intron/exon structure is not part of the algorithm.