Journal of
Bioinformatics and Sequence Analysis

  • Abbreviation: J. Bioinform. Seq. Anal.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2464
  • DOI: 10.5897/JBSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 42

Review

Bioinformatics with basic local alignment search tool (BLAST) and fast alignment (FASTA)

Eric S. Donkor*
  • Eric S. Donkor*
  • Department of Microbiology, University of Ghana Medical School, Accra, Ghana
  • Google Scholar
Nicholas T. K. D. Dayie
  • Nicholas T. K. D. Dayie
  • Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Google Scholar
Theophilus K Adiku
  • Theophilus K Adiku
  • Department of Microbiology, University of Ghana Medical School, Accra, Ghana
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 27 April 2013
  •  Accepted: 25 April 2014
  •  Published: 30 April 2014

Abstract

Following advances in DNA and protein sequencing, the application of computational approaches in analysing biological data has become a very important aspect of biology. Evaluating similarities between biological sequences is crucial to our understanding of evolutionary biology, and this can be achieved by basic local alignment search tool (BLAST) and fast alignment (FASTA). BLAST and FASTA have become fundamental tools of biology and it is essential to know how they operate, the task they can accomplish and how to accurately interpret their output. This paper provides an analysis of BLAST and FASTA in sequence analysis. Both BLAST and FASTA algorithms are appropriate for determining highly similar sequences. However, BLAST appears to be faster and also more accurate than FASTA. Both BLAST and FASTA are limited in sensitivity and may not be able to capture highly divergent sequences in some cases. Consequently, evolutionarily diverse members of a family of proteins may be missed out in a BLAST or FASTA search.

Key words: Bioinformatics, basic local alignment search tool (BLAST), fast alignment (FASTA), sequence alignment, prokaryotes.