DOI: 10.1093/ve/vev003 ISSN:

RDP4: Detection and analysis of recombination patterns in virus genomes

Darren P. Martin, Ben Murrell, Michael Golden, Arjun Khoosal, Brejnev Muhire
  • Virology
  • Microbiology


RDP4 is the latest version of recombination detection program (RDP), a Windows computer program that implements an extensive array of methods for detecting and visualising recombination in, and stripping evidence of recombination from, virus genome sequence alignments. RDP4 is capable of analysing twice as many sequences (up to 2,500) that are up to three times longer (up to 10 Mb) than those that could be analysed by older versions of the program. RDP4 is therefore also applicable to the analysis of bacterial full-genome sequence datasets. Other novelties in RDP4 include (1) the capacity to differentiate between recombination and genome segment reassortment, (2) the estimation of recombination breakpoint confidence intervals, (3) a variety of ‘recombination aware’ phylogenetic tree construction and comparison tools, (4) new matrix-based visualisation tools for examining both individual recombination events and the overall phylogenetic impacts of multiple recombination events and (5) new tests to detect the influences of gene arrangements, encoded protein structure, nucleic acid secondary structure, nucleotide composition, and nucleotide diversity on recombination breakpoint patterns. The key feature of RDP4 that differentiates it from other recombination detection tools is its flexibility. It can be run either in fully automated mode from the command line interface or with a graphically rich user interface that enables detailed exploration of both individual recombination events and overall recombination patterns.

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