Skip main navigation

What is ACT?

When analysing genome data, it can be very informative to investigate the differences between closely related organisms.
© Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences

When analysing genome data, it can be very informative to investigate the differences between closely related organisms. Knowing these differences will help you to understand the biology of the organism you are studying.

What is the Artemis Comparison tool?

The Artemis Comparison Tool (ACT) was designed to extract additional information that can only be gained by closely comparing genomic sequences. We will refer to the Artemis Comparison Tool as ACT. ACT is based on Artemis.

ACT is a computer programme that displays genomes and a comparison file in a user-friendly manner. It is essentially composed of three layers or windows. The top and bottom layers are mini Artemis windows (with their inherited functionality), showing the linear representations of the DNA sequences with their associated features such as genes.

The middle window shows red and blue blocks, which span this middle layer and link conserved regions within the two sequences, in the forward and reverse orientation respectively. Consequently, if you were comparing two identical sequences in the same orientation you would see a solid red block extending over the length of the two sequences in this middle layer.

If one of the sequences was reversed, and therefore present in the opposite orientation, there would be a blue hourglass shape linking the two sequences. Unique regions in either of the sequences, such as insertions or deletions, would show up as breaks (white spaces) between the solid red or blue blocks.

ACTscreenshot

In order to use ACT to investigate your own sequences of interest you will have to generate your own pairwise comparison files. Data used to draw the red or blue blocks that link conserved regions is generated by running pairwise BLASTN or TBLASTX comparisons of the sequences.

See FAQs

© Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences
This article is from the free online

Bacterial Genomes III: Comparative Genomics using Artemis Comparison Tool (ACT)

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education