I just came across an extremely nice piece of plasmid mapping and annotation software that I’d like to share with you. PlasMapper is a web-based application, created by staff from the University of Alberta, that automatically generates fully annotated plasmid maps from your raw sequence input.
Using a database containing the sequences of hundreds of features (replication origins, antibiotic resistance cassettes etc), as well as restriction enzymes, the program identifies each of the features in your inputted plasmid and renders them in a publication quality graphical or text map. The image on the right shows some examples of the output of the application – click the image to view a larger version.
Users have options to add their own features to the plasmid (e.g. cloned-in genes or other features not in the database) as well as to change the color scheme, annotation features and restriction enzyme annotation. Another neat feature is a built in database of commercially available vectors, so you can be up-and-running immediately if you are using one of those. Excuse me for getting excited but this free program does a far better job at this particular task than a certain commercial vector handling packing my lab paid several thousand dollars for just a few years ago!