This manual covers the use of the program Fastachar.
FastaChar is a software developed to extract molecular diagnostic characters from one or several taxonomically-informative DNA markers of a selected taxon compared to those of other taxa (as many as required by the user) in a single step. The input data consists of a single file with aligned sequences in the fasta format, which can be created using alignment software such as MEGA or GENEIOUS. The software is described by Merckelbach and Borges (2020) [Merckelbach2020].
The software was developed specifically to determine molecular diagnostic characters for the description of Lyrodus mersinensis by Borges and Merckelbach (2018) [BORGES2018], but it can be applied to any taxon. Since FastaChar is an intuitive and easy-to-use software, we hope it helps to standardize the use of molecular data and stimulate researchers to proceed to the final step of molecular taxonomy, that is, describe the new species.
Fastachar is written in Python3, and is released as open source software under the GPLv3 GNU Public License. The installation of the program is (also) covered in the README.rst file, that comes with the source code.
References to the fastachar source code¶
Merckelbach,L.M., & Borges, L. M. S. (2020). Make every species count: fastachar software for rapid determination of molecular diagnostic haracters to describe species. Molecular Ecology Resources. 00:1–8. https://doi.org/10.1111/1755-0998.13222.
Borges, L. M. S., & Merckelbach, L. M. (2018). Lyrodus mersinensis sp. nov. (Bivalvia: Teredinidae) another cryptic species in the Lyrodus pedicellatus (Quatrefages, 1849) complex. Zootaxa, 4442(3), 441–457. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4442.3.6