FASTAptamer: A Bioinformatic Toolkit for High-throughput Sequence Analysis of Combinatorial Selections. High-throughput sequence (HTS) analysis of combinatorial selection populations accelerates lead discovery and optimization and offers dynamic insight into selection processes. An underlying principle is that selection enriches high-fitness sequences as a fraction of the population, whereas low-fitness sequences are depleted. HTS analysis readily provides the requisite numerical information by tracking the evolutionary trajectory of individual sequences in response to selection pressures. Unlike genomic data, for which a number of software solutions exist, user-friendly tools are not readily available for the combinatorial selections field, leading many users to create custom software. FASTAptamer was designed to address the sequence-level analysis needs of the field. The open source FASTAptamer toolkit counts, normalizes and ranks read counts in a FASTQ file, compares populations for sequence distribution, generates clusters of sequence families, calculates fold-enrichment of sequences throughout the course of a selection and searches for degenerate sequence motifs. While originally designed for aptamer selections, FASTAptamer can be applied to any selection strategy that can utilize next-generation DNA sequencing, such as ribozyme or deoxyribozyme selections, in vivo mutagenesis and various surface display technologies (peptide, antibody fragment, mRNA, etc.). FASTAptamer software, sample data and a user’s guide are available for download at

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  1. Santana, Fagner; Santiago, Regivan; Bedregal, Benjamin; Paternain, Daniel; Bustince, Humberto: Generalized quasi-metric on strings (2016)