A note on the incidence of reverse complementary fungal ITS sequences in the public sequence databases and a software tool for their detection and reorientation

R. Henrik Nilsson, Vilmar Veldre, Zheng Wang, Martin Eckart, Sara Branco, Martin Hartmann, Christopher Quince, Anna Godhe, Yann Bertrand, Johan F. Alfredsson, Karl Henrik Larsson, Urmas Kõljalg, Kessy Abarenkov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Reverse complementary DNA sequences--sequences that are inadvertently cast backward and in which all purines and pyrimidines are transposed--are not uncommon in sequence databases, where they may introduce noise into sequence-based research. We show that about 1% of the public fungal ITS sequences, the most commonly sequenced genetic marker in mycology, are reverse complementary, and we introduce an open source software solution to automate their detection and reorientation. The MacOSX/Linux/UNIX software operates on public or private datasets of any size, although some 50 base pairs of the 5.8S gene of the ITS region are needed for the analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-282
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • DNA barcoding
  • Environmental sampling
  • Hidden Markov models
  • Quality assessment
  • Sequence identification

Cite this