Algorithms and Applications pp 147-157
An Evolutionary Model of DNA Substring Distribution
DNA sequence analysis methods, such as motif discovery, gene detection or phylogeny reconstruction, can often provide important input for biological studies. Many of such methods require a backgroundmodel, representing the expected distribution of short substrings in a given DNA region. Most current techniques for modeling this distribution disregard the evolutionary processes underlying DNA formation. We propose a novel approach for modeling DNA k-mer distribution that is capable of taking the notions of evolution and natural selection into account. We derive a computionally tractable approximation for estimating k-mer probabilities at genetic equilibrium, given a description of evolutionary processes in terms of fitness and mutation probabilities. We assess the goodness of this approximation via numerical experiments. Besides providing a generative model for DNA sequences, our method has further applications in motif discovery.
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