Summary: Recently, genome-wide surveys for non-coding RNAs have provided evidence for tens of thousands of previously undescribed evolutionary conserved RNAs with distinctive secondary structures. The annotation of these putative ncRNAs, however, remains a difficult problem. Here we describe an SVM-based approach that, in conjunction with a non-stringent filter for consensus secondary structures, is capable of efficiently recognizing microRNA precursors in multiple sequence alignments. The software was applied to recent genome-wide RNAz surveys of mammals, urochordates, and nematodes.

Availability: The program

is available as source code and can be downloaded from

Contact:Jana Hertel, Tel: ++49 341 97 16704, Fax: ++49 341 97 16709, {jana,studla}@bioinf.uni-leipzig.de

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