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Genome Annotation Transfer Utility (GATU)


Genome Annotation Transfer Utility (GATU) was designed to facilitate quick, efficient annotation of similar genomes using genomes that have already been annotated. For example, whenever a new strain of SARS coronavirus is sequenced, it is possible, using GATU, to automatically annotate the new strain using a previously-annotated strain of SARS CoV. This saves researchers from tedious manual annotation of these sequences.

The program utilizes tBLASTn and BLASTn algorithms to map genes from the reference genome (the annotated strain) to the new sequence (the unannotated strain). The goal is to annotate the majority of the new genome’s genes in a single step. ORFs present in the target genome and absent from the reference genome are also identified; these ORFs can be further analyzed using BLAST, VGO and BBB. Afterwards, they can either be accepted for/rejected from annotation. GATU can handle multiple-exon genes as well as mature peptides. Although it was designed for use with viral genomes, GATU can also be used to help annotate larger genomes (ie. bacterial genomes).

The output is saved in GenBank, XML, or EMBL file format.