maskseq

 

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Function

Write a sequence with masked regions

Description

maskseq reads a sequence and writes a masked version of it to file. The sequence is masked in a specified set of regions such that characters in that region are (optionally) converted to lower case and / or (optionally) replaced with the specified mask character.

Usage

Here is a sample session with maskseq

Mask off bases 10 to 12 from a sequence 'prot.fasta' and write to the new sequence file 'prot2.seq':


% maskseq prot.fasta prot2.seq -reg=10-12 
Write a sequence with masked regions

Go to the input files for this example
Go to the output files for this example

Example 2

Mask off bases 20 to 30 from a sequence 'prot.fasta' using the character 'x' and write to the new sequence file 'prot2.seq':


% maskseq prot.fasta prot2.seq -reg=20-30 -mask=x 
Write a sequence with masked regions

Go to the output files for this example

Example 3

Mask off the regions 20 to 23, 34 to 45 and 88 to 90 in 'prot.fasta':


% maskseq prot.fasta prot2.seq -reg=20-23,34-45,88-90 
Write a sequence with masked regions

Go to the output files for this example

Example 4

Change to lower-case the regions 20 to 23, 34 to 45 and 88 to 90 in 'prot.fasta':


% maskseq prot.fasta prot2.seq -reg=20-23,34-45,88-90 -tolower 
Write a sequence with masked regions

Go to the output files for this example

Command line arguments

Write a sequence with masked regions
Version: EMBOSS:6.2.0

   Standard (Mandatory) qualifiers:
  [-sequence]          sequence   Sequence filename and optional format, or
                                  reference (input USA)
   -regions            range      [None] Regions to mask.
                                  A set of regions is specified by a set of
                                  pairs of positions.
                                  The positions are integers.
                                  They are separated by any non-digit,
                                  non-alpha character.
                                  Examples of region specifications are:
                                  24-45, 56-78
                                  1:45, 67=99;765..888
                                  1,5,8,10,23,45,57,99
  [-outseq]            seqout     [.] Sequence filename and
                                  optional format (output USA)

   Additional (Optional) qualifiers (* if not always prompted):
   -tolower            toggle     [N] The region can be 'masked' by converting
                                  the sequence characters to lower-case, some
                                  non-EMBOSS programs e.g. fasta can
                                  interpret this as a masked region. The
                                  sequence is unchanged apart from the case
                                  change. You might like to ensure that the
                                  whole sequence is in upper-case before
                                  masking the specified regions to lower-case
                                  by using the '-supper' flag.
*  -maskchar           string     ['X' for protein, 'N' for nucleic] Character
                                  to use when masking.
                                  Default is 'X' for protein sequences, 'N'
                                  for nucleic sequences.
                                  If the mask character is set to be the SPACE
                                  character or a null character, then the
                                  sequence is 'masked' by changing it to
                                  lower-case, just as with the '-lowercase'
                                  flag. (Any string from 1 to 1 characters)

   Advanced (Unprompted) qualifiers: (none)
   Associated qualifiers:

   "-sequence" associated qualifiers
   -sbegin1            integer    Start of the sequence to be used
   -send1              integer    End of the sequence to be used
   -sreverse1          boolean    Reverse (if DNA)
   -sask1              boolean    Ask for begin/end/reverse
   -snucleotide1       boolean    Sequence is nucleotide
   -sprotein1          boolean    Sequence is protein
   -slower1            boolean    Make lower case
   -supper1            boolean    Make upper case
   -sformat1           string     Input sequence format
   -sdbname1           string     Database name
   -sid1               string     Entryname
   -ufo1               string     UFO features
   -fformat1           string     Features format
   -fopenfile1         string     Features file name

   "-outseq" associated qualifiers
   -osformat2          string     Output seq format
   -osextension2       string     File name extension
   -osname2            string     Base file name
   -osdirectory2       string     Output directory
   -osdbname2          string     Database name to add
   -ossingle2          boolean    Separate file for each entry
   -oufo2              string     UFO features
   -offormat2          string     Features format
   -ofname2            string     Features file name
   -ofdirectory2       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 and exit. 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
   -version            boolean    Report version number and exit

Qualifier Type Description Allowed values Default
Standard (Mandatory) qualifiers
[-sequence]
(Parameter 1)
sequence Sequence filename and optional format, or reference (input USA) Readable sequence Required
-regions range Regions to mask. A set of regions is specified by a set of pairs of positions. The positions are integers. They are separated by any non-digit, non-alpha character. Examples of region specifications are: 24-45, 56-78 1:45, 67=99;765..888 1,5,8,10,23,45,57,99 Sequence range None
[-outseq]
(Parameter 2)
seqout Sequence filename and optional format (output USA) Writeable sequence <*>.format
Additional (Optional) qualifiers
-tolower toggle The region can be 'masked' by converting the sequence characters to lower-case, some non-EMBOSS programs e.g. fasta can interpret this as a masked region. The sequence is unchanged apart from the case change. You might like to ensure that the whole sequence is in upper-case before masking the specified regions to lower-case by using the '-supper' flag. Toggle value Yes/No No
-maskchar string Character to use when masking. Default is 'X' for protein sequences, 'N' for nucleic sequences. If the mask character is set to be the SPACE character or a null character, then the sequence is 'masked' by changing it to lower-case, just as with the '-lowercase' flag. Any string from 1 to 1 characters 'X' for protein, 'N' for nucleic
Advanced (Unprompted) qualifiers
(none)
Associated qualifiers
"-sequence" associated sequence qualifiers
-sbegin1
-sbegin_sequence
integer Start of the sequence to be used Any integer value 0
-send1
-send_sequence
integer End of the sequence to be used Any integer value 0
-sreverse1
-sreverse_sequence
boolean Reverse (if DNA) Boolean value Yes/No N
-sask1
-sask_sequence
boolean Ask for begin/end/reverse Boolean value Yes/No N
-snucleotide1
-snucleotide_sequence
boolean Sequence is nucleotide Boolean value Yes/No N
-sprotein1
-sprotein_sequence
boolean Sequence is protein Boolean value Yes/No N
-slower1
-slower_sequence
boolean Make lower case Boolean value Yes/No N
-supper1
-supper_sequence
boolean Make upper case Boolean value Yes/No N
-sformat1
-sformat_sequence
string Input sequence format Any string  
-sdbname1
-sdbname_sequence
string Database name Any string  
-sid1
-sid_sequence
string Entryname Any string  
-ufo1
-ufo_sequence
string UFO features Any string  
-fformat1
-fformat_sequence
string Features format Any string  
-fopenfile1
-fopenfile_sequence
string Features file name Any string  
"-outseq" associated seqout qualifiers
-osformat2
-osformat_outseq
string Output seq format Any string  
-osextension2
-osextension_outseq
string File name extension Any string  
-osname2
-osname_outseq
string Base file name Any string  
-osdirectory2
-osdirectory_outseq
string Output directory Any string  
-osdbname2
-osdbname_outseq
string Database name to add Any string  
-ossingle2
-ossingle_outseq
boolean Separate file for each entry Boolean value Yes/No N
-oufo2
-oufo_outseq
string UFO features Any string  
-offormat2
-offormat_outseq
string Features format Any string  
-ofname2
-ofname_outseq
string Features file name Any string  
-ofdirectory2
-ofdirectory_outseq
string Output directory Any string  
General qualifiers
-auto boolean Turn off prompts Boolean value Yes/No N
-stdout boolean Write first file to standard output Boolean value Yes/No N
-filter boolean Read first file from standard input, write first file to standard output Boolean value Yes/No N
-options boolean Prompt for standard and additional values Boolean value Yes/No N
-debug boolean Write debug output to program.dbg Boolean value Yes/No N
-verbose boolean Report some/full command line options Boolean value Yes/No Y
-help boolean Report command line options and exit. More information on associated and general qualifiers can be found with -help -verbose Boolean value Yes/No N
-warning boolean Report warnings Boolean value Yes/No Y
-error boolean Report errors Boolean value Yes/No Y
-fatal boolean Report fatal errors Boolean value Yes/No Y
-die boolean Report dying program messages Boolean value Yes/No Y
-version boolean Report version number and exit Boolean value Yes/No N

Input file format

maskseq reads in a single sequence USA.

Input files for usage example

File: prot.fasta

>FASTA F00001 FASTA FORMAT PROTEIN SEQUENCE
ACDEFGHIKLMNPQRSTVWY
ACDEFGHIKLMNPQRSTVWY
ACDEFGHIKLMNPQRSTVWY
ACDEFGHIKLMNPQRSTVWY
ACDEFGHIKLMNPQRSTVWY

You can specify a file of ranges to mask out by giving the '-regions' qualifier the value '@' followed by the name of the file containing the ranges. (eg: '-regions @myfile').

The format of the range file is:

An example range file is:


# this is my set of ranges
12   23
 4   5       this is like 12-23, but smaller
67   10348   interesting region

Output file format

maskseq writes s single masked sequence file.

Output files for usage example

File: prot2.seq

>FASTA F00001 FASTA FORMAT PROTEIN SEQUENCE
ACDEFGHIKXXXPQRSTVWYACDEFGHIKLMNPQRSTVWYACDEFGHIKLMNPQRSTVWY
ACDEFGHIKLMNPQRSTVWYACDEFGHIKLMNPQRSTVWY

Output files for usage example 2

File: prot2.seq

>FASTA F00001 FASTA FORMAT PROTEIN SEQUENCE
ACDEFGHIKLMNPQRSTVWxxxxxxxxxxxMNPQRSTVWYACDEFGHIKLMNPQRSTVWY
ACDEFGHIKLMNPQRSTVWYACDEFGHIKLMNPQRSTVWY

Output files for usage example 3

File: prot2.seq

>FASTA F00001 FASTA FORMAT PROTEIN SEQUENCE
ACDEFGHIKLMNPQRSTVWXXXXEFGHIKLMNPXXXXXXXXXXXXGHIKLMNPQRSTVWY
ACDEFGHIKLMNPQRSTVWYACDEFGHXXXMNPQRSTVWY

Output files for usage example 4

File: prot2.seq

>FASTA F00001 FASTA FORMAT PROTEIN SEQUENCE
ACDEFGHIKLMNPQRSTVWyacdEFGHIKLMNPqrstvwyacdefGHIKLMNPQRSTVWY
ACDEFGHIKLMNPQRSTVWYACDEFGHiklMNPQRSTVWY

Data files

None.

Notes

It is common for database searches to mask out low-complexity or biased composition regions of a sequence so that spurious matches do not occur. It is possible that you have a program that has reported such biased regions but which has not masked the sequence itself. In that case, you can use this program to do the masking.

There are other uses for it. For example, some non-EMBOSS programs (for example FASTA) are capable of treating lower-case regions as if they are masked. maskseq can mask a region to lower-case instead of replacing the sequence with N's or X's if you use the qualifier -tolower or use a space character as the masking character.

References

None.

Warnings

You can mask out a complete sequence.

Diagnostic Error Messages

Several warning messages about malformed region specifications:

Exit status

It exits with status 0, unless a region is badly constructed.

Known bugs

None.

See also

Program name Description
aligncopy Reads and writes alignments
aligncopypair Reads and writes pairs from alignments
biosed Replace or delete sequence sections
codcopy Copy and reformat a codon usage table
cutseq Removes a section from a sequence
degapseq Removes non-alphabetic (e.g. gap) characters from sequences
descseq Alter the name or description of a sequence
entret Retrieves sequence entries from flatfile databases and files
extractalign Extract regions from a sequence alignment
extractfeat Extract features from sequence(s)
extractseq Extract regions from a sequence
featcopy Reads and writes a feature table
featreport Reads and writes a feature table
listor Write a list file of the logical OR of two sets of sequences
makenucseq Create random nucleotide sequences
makeprotseq Create random protein sequences
maskambignuc Masks all ambiguity characters in nucleotide sequences with N
maskambigprot Masks all ambiguity characters in protein sequences with X
maskfeat Write a sequence with masked features
newseq Create a sequence file from a typed-in sequence
nohtml Remove mark-up (e.g. HTML tags) from an ASCII text file
noreturn Remove carriage return from ASCII files
nospace Remove all whitespace from an ASCII text file
notab Replace tabs with spaces in an ASCII text file
notseq Write to file a subset of an input stream of sequences
nthseq Write to file a single sequence from an input stream of sequences
nthseqset Reads and writes (returns) one set of sequences from many
pasteseq Insert one sequence into another
revseq Reverse and complement a nucleotide sequence
seqret Reads and writes (returns) sequences
seqretsetall Reads and writes (returns) many sets of sequences
seqretsplit Reads sequences and writes them to individual files
sizeseq Sort sequences by size
skipredundant Remove redundant sequences from an input set
skipseq Reads and writes (returns) sequences, skipping first few
splitsource Split sequence(s) into original source sequences
splitter Split sequence(s) into smaller sequences
trimest Remove poly-A tails from nucleotide sequences
trimseq Remove unwanted characters from start and end of sequence(s)
trimspace Remove extra whitespace from an ASCII text file
union Concatenate multiple sequences into a single sequence
vectorstrip Removes vectors from the ends of nucleotide sequence(s)
yank Add a sequence reference (a full USA) to a list file

Author(s)

Gary Williams (gwilliam © rfcgr.mrc.ac.uk)
MRC Rosalind Franklin Centre for Genomics Research Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, CB10 1SB, UK

History

Completed 3 March 1999

Target users

This program is intended to be used by everyone and everything, from naive users to embedded scripts.

Comments

None