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Finding Approximate Tandem Repeats with the Burrows-Wheeler Transform

Authors: Agnieszka Danek, Rafał Pokrzywa


Approximate tandem repeats in a genomic sequence are two or more contiguous, similar copies of a pattern of nucleotides. They are used in DNA mapping, studying molecular evolution mechanisms, forensic analysis and research in diagnosis of inherited diseases. All their functions are still investigated and not well defined, but increasing biological databases together with tools for identification of these repeats may lead to discovery of their specific role or correlation with particular features. This paper presents a new approach for finding approximate tandem repeats in a given sequence, where the similarity between consecutive repeats is measured using the Hamming distance. It is an enhancement of a method for finding exact tandem repeats in DNA sequences based on the Burrows- Wheeler transform.

Keywords: approximate tandem repeats, Burrows-Wheeler transform, Hamming distance, suffix array

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