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EMBL-EBI Researchers Establish Greedy Strategy as Favorable Method to Choose Next Organism for Sequencing

NEW YORK, Nov. 25 (GenomeWeb News) - 

European Molecular Biology Laboratory-European Bioinformatics Institute scientists demonstrate in research published today in the journal PLoS Genetics that choosing the single best candidate organism for sequencing is as informative a strategy as choosing several organisms ahead of time, the institute said in a statement.

 

"Our findings have clear implications for planning large-scale genome sequencing efforts", said EMBL-EBI researcher and author of the paper, Fabio Pardi, in a statement. "Provided that they remain open about their choices so that two different sequencing centers don't choose the same genome, selecting the next most attractive organism to sequence is just as effective as having a long-term strategy," he said.

 

The tendency has been for centers to choose a group of new genomes to sequence, but employing the "greedy" strategy, as it is known by computer scientists, will most likely result in more information than will be provided by choosing five organisms, the statement said.

 

"If we are prepared to assume that the most informative set is the one with the greatest evolutionary divergence, the problem of which species to sequence next can be solved by observing the length of the branches that separate the unsequenced species from those that have already had their genomes sequenced, and choosing the organism that's separated from the others by the longest sequence of branches," Pardi said in the statement.

 

Although the strategy developed by Pardi and co-author Nick Goldman only takes into account evolutionary divergence, it can be expanded to include other factors, such as the cost of sequencing or the economic importance of an organism, the statement said.

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