Interrelatedness of 5S RNA sequences investigated by correspondence analysis
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Correspondence analysis (a form of multivariate statistics) applied to 74 5S ribosomal RNA sequences indicates that the sequences are interrelated in a systematic, nonrandom fashion. Aligned sequences are represented as vectors in a 5N-dimensional space, where N is the number of base positions in the 5S RNA molecule. Mutually orthogonal directions (called factor axes) along which intersequence variance is greatest are defined in this hyperspace. Projection of the sequences onto planes defined by these factorial directions reveals clustering of species that is suggestive of phylogenetic relationships. For each factorial direction, correspondence analysis points to regions of “importance”, i.e., those base positions at which the systematic changes occur that define that particular direction. In effect, the technique provides a rapid determination of group-specific signatures. In several instances, similarities between sequences are indicated that have only recently been inferred from visual base-to-base comparisons. These results suggest that correspondence analysis may provide a valuable starting point from which to uncover the patterns of change underlying the evolution of a macromolecule, such as 5S RNA.
Key words5S RNA Correspondence analysis Multivariate statistics Evolution Phylogeny
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