NAME - fetches sequences from bioperl indexed databases

SYNOPSIS swiss:ROA1_HUMAN net::genbank:X47072 net::genpept:ROA1_HUMAN,21000:X56676 -fmt GCG swiss:ROA1_HUMAN


Fetches sequences using the DB access systems in Bioperl. The most common use of this is to fetch sequences from bioperl indices built using, or to fetch sequences from the NCBI website

The format for retrieving sequences is delibrately like GCG/EMBOSS format, going


with the potential of putting in a 'meta' database type, being


The meta information can be one of three types

  local - local indexed flat file database
  net   - networked http: based database
  ace   - ACeDB database

This information defaults to 'local' for database names with no meta db information


  -fmt  <format> - Output format
                   Fasta (default), EMBL, Raw or GCG
  -acc           - string is an accession number, not an

options only for expert use

  -dir  <dir>    - directory to find the index files
                  (overrides BIOPERL_INDEX environment varaible)
  -type <type>   - type of DBM file to open 
                  (overrides BIOPERL_INDEX_TYPE environment variable)


bpindex and bpfetch coordinate where the databases lie using the enviroment variable BIOPERL_INDEX. This can be overridden using the -dir option. The index type (SDBM or DB_File or another index file) is controlled by the BIOPERL_INDEX_TYPE variable. This defaults to SDBM_File


bpfetch is a wrapper around the bioperl modules which support the Bio::DB::BioSeqI abstract interface. These include:

  Author          Code

  James Gilbert - Fasta indexer, Abstract indexer
  Aaron Mackay  - GenBank and GenPept DB access
  Ewan Birney   - EMBL .dat indexer
  Many people   - SeqIO code

These modules can be used directly, which is far better than using this script as a system call or a pipe to read from. Read the source code for bpfetch to see how it is used.


bpfetch uses a number of different modules to provide access to databases. Any module which subscribes to the Bio::DB::BioSeqI interface can be used here. For flat file indexers, this is best done by extending Bio::Index::Abstract, as is done in Bio::Index::EMBL and Bio::Index::Fasta. For access to other databases you will need to roll your own interface.

For new output formats, you need to add a new SeqIO module. The easiest thing is to look at Bio::SeqIO::Fasta and figure out how to hack it for your own format (call it something different obviously).


Mailing Lists

User feedback is an integral part of the evolution of this and other Bioperl modules. Send your comments and suggestions preferably to one of the Bioperl mailing lists. Your participation is much appreciated.          - General discussion     - Technically-oriented discussion             - About the mailing lists

Reporting Bugs

Report bugs to the Bioperl bug tracking system to help us keep track the bugs and their resolution. Bug reports can be submitted via email or the web:                         


Ewan Birney,