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Sequence Alignment

  1. Julie D Thompson,
  2. Olivier Poch

Published Online: 15 JUL 2006

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0005318



How to Cite

Thompson, J. D. and Poch, O. 2006. Sequence Alignment. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Strasbourg, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2006


Definition sequence comparison or alignment is the cornerstone of bioinformatics, providing the basis for sequence database searching, three-dimensional structure modeling and evolutionary studies. A sequence alignment shows how a set of sequences may be related by identifying and arranging in columns the structurally and functionally equivalent residues common to all the sequences.


  • pairwise alignment;
  • multiple alignment;
  • scoring matrices;
  • alignment statistics;
  • dot plots