Master of Science (MS)
This work explores a new approach in using genetic algorithm to predict RNA secondary structures with pseudoknots. Since only a small portion of most RNA structures is comprised of pseudoknots, the majority of structural elements from an optimal pseudoknot-free structure are likely to be part of the true structure. Thus seeding the genetic algorithm with optimal pseudoknot-free structures will more likely lead it to the true structure than a randomly generated population. The genetic algorithm uses the known energy models with an additional augmentation to allow complex pseudoknots. The nearest-neighbor energy model is used in conjunction with Turner’s thermodynamic parameters for pseudoknot-free structures, and the H-type pseudoknot energy estimation for simple pseudoknots. Testing with known pseudoknot sequences from PseudoBase shows that it out performs some of the current popular algorithms.
Pham, Ryan, "A Seeded Genetic Algorithm for RNA Secondary Structural Prediction with Pseudoknots" (2008). Master's Projects. Paper 105.