The master copies of EMBOSS documentation are available at on the EMBOSS Wiki.

Please help by correcting and extending the Wiki pages.


Extract codon usage tables from from CUTG database


Given the name of a directory containing the CUTG database, cutgextract will calculate codon usage tables for individual species (e.g. EHomo_sapiens.cut) and place them in the CODONS subdirectory of the EMBOSS data directory. This is an all-or-nothing extraction; it will create many files and take several minutes. The usage tables are calculated from the sum of codons over all sequences for each organism.


cutgextract looks in the specified directory and opens all the files with the extension '.codon'. These are all expected to be CUTG data files. It then parses out the codon usage data and writes one file per species into the EMBOSS data/CODONS directory. The names of the files are derived from the species names in the CUTG files. These files names will be long and therefore descriptive.


Here is a sample session with cutgextract

% cutgextract 
Extract codon usage tables from from CUTG database
Codon usage directories [.]: data
General log output file [outfile.cutgextract]: 

Go to the output files for this example

Command line arguments

   Standard (Mandatory) qualifiers:
  [-directory]         dirlist    [.] Codon usage directories
  [-outfile]           outfile    [*.cutgextract] General log output file

   Additional (Optional) qualifiers: (none)
   Advanced (Unprompted) qualifiers:
   -release            string     CUTG release (Any string is accepted)
   -wildspec           string     [*.codon] Type of codon file (Any string is
   -species            string     [*] Species wildcard (Any string is
   -allrecords         boolean    [N] Include all records, including those
                                  with warnings
   -filename           string     Single output filename to override automatic
                                  one file for each species. Leave blank to
                                  generate the filenames. Specify a filename
                                  to combine several species into one file.
                                  (Any string is accepted)

   Associated qualifiers:

   "-outfile" associated qualifiers
   -odirectory2        string     Output directory

   General qualifiers:
   -auto               boolean    Turn off prompts
   -stdout             boolean    Write first file to standard output
   -filter             boolean    Read first file from standard input, write
                                  first file to standard output
   -options            boolean    Prompt for standard and additional values
   -debug              boolean    Write debug output to program.dbg
   -verbose            boolean    Report some/full command line options
   -help               boolean    Report command line options. More
                                  information on associated and general
                                  qualifiers can be found with -help -verbose
   -warning            boolean    Report warnings
   -error              boolean    Report errors
   -fatal              boolean    Report fatal errors
   -die                boolean    Report dying program messages

Standard (Mandatory) qualifiers Allowed values Default
(Parameter 1)
Codon usage directories Directory with files .
(Parameter 2)
General log output file Output file <*>.cutgextract
Additional (Optional) qualifiers Allowed values Default
Advanced (Unprompted) qualifiers Allowed values Default
-release CUTG release Any string is accepted An empty string is accepted
-wildspec Type of codon file Any string is accepted *.codon
-species Species wildcard Any string is accepted *
-allrecords Include all records, including those with warnings Boolean value Yes/No No
-filename Single output filename to override automatic one file for each species. Leave blank to generate the filenames. Specify a filename to combine several species into one file. Any string is accepted An empty string is accepted

Input file format

Output file format

cutgextract writes a set of EMBOSS codon usage data files to the EMBOSS data/CODONS data directory.

Output files for usage example

Directory: CODONS

This directory contains output files.

File: outfile.cutgextract

Writing EDictyostelium_discoideum.cut CDS: 7
Writing EAphrodite_aculeata.cut CDS: 1
Writing EAedes_aegypti.cut CDS: 23
Writing EAnadara_trapezia.cut CDS: 2
Writing EAedes_albopictus.cut CDS: 2
Writing EAcanthocheilonema_viteae.cut CDS: 2
Writing EAmblyomma_americanum.cut CDS: 2
Writing EAstacus_astacus.cut CDS: 3
Writing EAedes_atropalpus.cut CDS: 1

Data files



The EMBOSS distribution includes a set of codon usage tables calculated from the files listed in, with a few additions whose exact derivation cannot easily be determined. Many people would prefer to create their own from the public CUTG data. The CUTG database can be downloaded from

If you run cutgextract on the CUTG database from all of the *.codon files included in the database will be processed. You may need to uncompress these files (*.codon) before running cutgextract on them.

cutgextract would normally be used once when the EMBOSS package is installled, or when a new version of the CUTG database is released.

CUTG has a drawback: it has a table for each organism without making the distinction between different gene populations.





Diagnostic Error Messages


Exit status

It always exits with status 0.

Known bugs


See also

Program name Description
aaindexextract Extract amino acid property data from AAINDEX
jaspextract Extract data from JASPAR
printsextract Extract data from PRINTS database for use by pscan
prosextract Processes the PROSITE motif database for use by patmatmotifs
rebaseextract Process the REBASE database for use by restriction enzyme applications
tfextract Process TRANSFAC transcription factor database for use by tfscan


Alan Bleasby (ajb ©
European Bioinformatics Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SD, UK


Written (June 2001) - Alan Bleasby.

Target users

This program is intended to be used by administrators responsible for software and database installation and maintenance.