The GC skew index: A measure of genomic compositional asymmetry and the degree of replicational selection

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Circular bacterial chromosomes have highly polarized nucleotide composition in the two replichores, and this genomic strand asymmetry can be visualized using GC skew graphs. Here we propose and discuss the GC skew index (GCSI) for the quantifi cation of genomic compositional skew, which combines a normalized measure of fast Fourier transform to capture the shape of the skew graph and Euclidean distance between the two vertices in a cumulative skew graph to represent the degree of skew. We calculated GCSI for all available bacterial genomes, and GCSI correlated well with the visibility of GC skew. This novel index is useful for estimating confi dence levels for the prediction of replication origin and terminus by methods based on GC skew and for measuring the strength of replicational selection in a genome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-168
Number of pages10
JournalEvolutionary Bioinformatics
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Sep 6



  • Bioinformatics
  • DNA replication
  • Fast Fourier transforms
  • GC skew
  • GCSI
  • Replicational selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Genetics

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