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Comparison of Current Methods for Signal Peptide Prediction in Phytoplasmas

Abstract : Although phytoplasma studies are still hampered by the lack of axenic cultivation methods, the availability of genome sequences allowed dramatic advances in the characterization of the virulence mechanisms deployed by phytoplasmas, and highlighted the detection of signal peptides as a crucial step to identify effectors secreted by phytoplasmas. However, various signal peptide prediction methods have been used to mine phytoplasma genomes, and no general evaluation of these methods is available so far for phytoplasma sequences. In this work, we compared the prediction performance of SignalP versions 3.0, 4.0, 4.1, 5.0 and Phobius on several sequence datasets originating from all deposited phytoplasma sequences. SignalP 4.1 with specific parameters showed the most exhaustive and consistent prediction ability. However, the configuration of SignalP 4.1 for increased sensitivity induced a much higher rate of false positives on transmembrane domains located at N-terminus. Moreover, sensitive signal peptide predictions could similarly be achieved by the transmembrane domain prediction ability of TMHMM and Phobius, due to the relatedness between signal peptides and transmembrane regions. Beyond the results presented herein, the datasets assembled in this study form a valuable benchmark to compare and evaluate signal peptide predictors in a field where experimental evidence of secretion is scarce. Additionally, this study illustrates the utility of comparative genomics to strengthen confidence in bioinformatic predictions.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03200258
Contributor : Christophe Garcion <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 16, 2021 - 3:27:40 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 3:56:51 PM

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Christophe Garcion, Laure Beven, Xavier Foissac. Comparison of Current Methods for Signal Peptide Prediction in Phytoplasmas. Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers Media, 2021, 12, pp.661524. ⟨10.3389/fmicb.2021.661524⟩. ⟨hal-03200258⟩

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