digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















In molecular biology and bioinformatics, the consensus sequence is the calculated order of most frequent residues, either nucleotide or amino acid, found at each position in a sequence alignment. It represents the results of a multiple sequence alignments in which related sequences are compared to each other and similar sequence motifs are calculated. Such information is important when considering sequence-dependent enzymes such as RNA polymerase.[1]

Biological significance[edit]

A protein binding site, represented by a consensus sequence, may be a short sequence of nucleotides which is found several times in the genome and is thought to play the same role in its different locations. For example, many transcription factors recognize particular patterns in the promoters of the genes they regulate. In the same way restriction enzymes usually have palindromic consensus sequences, usually corresponding to the site where they cut the DNA. Transposons act in much the same manner in their identification of target sequences for transposition. Finally splice sites (sequences immediately surrounding the exon-intron boundaries) can also be considered as consensus sequences.

Thus a consensus sequence is a model for a putative DNA binding site: it is obtained by aligning all known examples of a certain recognition site and defined as the idealized sequence that represents the predominant base at each position. All the actual examples shouldn't differ from the consensus by more than a few substitutions, but counting mismatches in this way can lead to inconsistencies.[2]

Any mutation allowing a mutated nucleotide in the core promoter sequence to look more like the consensus sequence is known as an up mutation. This kind of mutation will generally make the promoter stronger, and thus the RNA polymerase forms a tighter bind to the DNA it wishes to transcribe and transcription is up-regulated. On the contrary, mutations that destroy conserved nucleotides in the consensus sequence are known as down mutations. These types of mutations down-regulate transcription since RNA polymerase can no longer bind as tightly to the core promoter sequence.

Sequence analysis[edit]

Developing software for pattern recognition is a major topic in genetics, molecular biology, and bioinformatics. Specific sequence motifs can function as regulatory sequences controlling biosynthesis, or as signal sequences that direct a molecule to a specific site within the cell or regulate its maturation. Since the regulatory function of these sequences is important, they are thought to be conserved across long periods of evolution. In some cases, evolutionary relatedness can be estimated by the amount of conservation of these sites.


The conserved sequence motifs are called consensus sequences and they show which residues are conserved and which residues are variable. Consider the following example DNA sequence:


In this notation, A means that an A is always found in that position; [CT] stands for either C or T; N stands for any base; and {A} means any base except A. Y represents any pyrimidine, and R indicates any purine.

In this example, the notation [CT] does not give any indication of the relative frequency of C or T occurring at that position. An alternative method of representing a consensus sequence uses a sequence logo. This is a graphical representation of the consensus sequence, in which the size of a symbol is related to the frequency that a given nucleotide (or amino acid) occurs at a certain position. In sequence logos the more conserved the residue, the larger the symbol for that residue is drawn; the less frequent, the smaller the symbol. Sequence logos can be generated using WebLogo, or using the Gestalt Workbench, a publicly available visualization tool written by Gustavo Glusman at the Institute for Systems Biology.[2]


Bioinformatics tools are able to calculate and visualize consensus sequences. Examples of the tools are JalView and UGENE.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pierce, Benjamin A. 2002. Genetics : A Conceptual Approach. 1st ed. New York: W.H. Freeman and Co.
  2. ^ a b Schneider TD (2002). "Consensus Sequence Zen". Appl Bioinformatics 1 (3): 111–119. PMC 1852464. PMID 15130839. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus_sequence — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
5118 videos foundNext > 

What is DNA consensus sequence?

In molecular biology and bioinformatics, the consensus sequence is the calculated order of most frequent residues, either nucleotide or amino acid, found at ...

12 l Consensus Sequence

DNASTAR - Creating a New Consensus for an Alignment

DNASTAR's MegAlign application allows you to define multiple consensus sequences from the alignment report, enabling the comparison of the sequences in your ...

Lecture 11. Unit 1 Sequence Consensus and Multi-Paxos

This lecture is about sequence consensus and multi-Paxos. In fact about a variant that is extremely efficient that we call Sequence Paxos. This version is al...

Kozak consensus sequence

The Kozak consensus sequence, Kozak consensus or Kozak sequence, is a sequence which occurs on eukaryotic mRNA and has the consensus (gcc)gccRccAUGG. The Koz...

DNASTAR - Exporting the Consensus

SeqMan Pro offers two ways to export your consensus sequence following an assembly for further editing or analysis.

DNASTAR - Recomputing the Consensus for a Templated Assembly

SeqMan Pro enables you to recompute the consensus for your templated assembly by un-marking the reference sequence. Doing this causes SeqMan Pro to treat the...

Geneious Introduction: Interface and importing (Mitogenome Tutorial 2.4)

In this beginners tutorial I show you the basics of Geneious. Geneious is a powerful program for viewing, managing and manipulation your molecular sequence d...

DNASTAR - Performing a Batch BLAST

DNASTAR's SeqMan Pro enables you to search NCBI's BLAST database for multiple contigs in your project simultaneously. Results can be saved, printed, or opene...

DNA Sequencing

Watch the most exciting lab safety video ever! "Zombie College: The 5 Rules of Lab Safety" http://youtu.be/S6WARqVdWrE The "Experiments in Biotechnology" vid...

5118 videos foundNext > 

85 news items

7thSpace Interactive (press release)
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:59:59 -0800

The 3[prime] splice site (SS) at the end of pre-mRNA introns has a consensus sequence (Y)nNYAG for constitutive splicing of mammalian genes. Deviation from this consensus could change or interrupt the usage of the splice site leading to alternative or ...


The Daily Galaxy (blog)
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 09:07:30 -0700

One method is called consensus-sequence engineering, and is the more simplistic of the two. Scientists just plug the sequence of a protein of interest into a protein database. The query returns a large number of “hits,” or analogous sequences.
Science Careers Blog (subscription)
Thu, 11 Sep 2014 11:07:04 -0700

Stephen K. Gire, Augustine Goba, Kristian G. Andersen, Rachel S. G. Sealfon, Daniel J. Park, Lansana Kanneh, Simbirie Jalloh, Mambu Momoh, Mohamed Fullah, Gytis Dudas, Shirlee Wohl, Lina M. Moses, Nathan L. Yozwiak, Sarah Winnicki, Christian B.
Space Daily
Fri, 03 Oct 2014 02:11:07 -0700

The node sequences are inferred and compiled. The proteins encoded by the reconstructed sequences are then synthesized in the laboratory - "laboratory resurrection," as it's called. The protein, as with consensus-sequence engineering, is produced by a ...

Laboratory Equipment

Laboratory Equipment
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 06:37:54 -0700

The contiguous sequences of DNA representing a consensus sequence assembled from overlapping short reads are called contigs. Contigs assembled from short reads result in incomplete representations. In the absence of long-range structural information, ...


Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:30:00 -0700

... to establish an infection. The bottleneck means that when a person becomes infected, he or she is exposed to many strains of HIV, but they are quickly whittled down to only the strongest — the one that most closely resembles the "consensus ...
Fri, 09 May 2014 11:57:37 -0700

While our data indicate that both platforms can sequence complete ITRs, efficiencies (MiSeq: 0.11% of sequence reads; 454: 0.02% of reads), frequencies (MiSeq: 171 full ITRs, 454: 3 full ITRs), and rates of deviation from the derived ITR consensus ...
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 15:07:30 -0700

Researchers have found that viral protein sequences matching a consensus sequence, which is hypothesized to be most fit, are more likely to be transmitted than those that deviate from the consensus. The results were published Thursday in Science.

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight