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What is the .FASTA File Extension?

.FASTA File Extension Description:

The FASTA file extension is used as a format for scientific data that is used to save sequences of nucleic acids, like DNA sequences, or sequences of protein. A file in the .fasta file extension may also hold multiple sequences, so it is also sometimes referred to as a database format.

Files in the .fast file extension are in a text based format, to represent peptide sequences or sequences of nucleic acids. These amino acids or base pairs are shown by the use of single letter codes. Because files in the .fasta file extension are in a simple format, scripting languages like Perl and Python can easily manipulate and parse the sequences, by the use of tools for text processing.

The FASTA program is software for sequence alignment of DNA and Protein. It was designed to search for sequence similarities of protein and in 1988; search for DNA sequences was added. It also allows the alignment of DNA sequences and protein sequences. It is able to provide a fast comparison of protein and nucleotides. The FASTA program searches for similarities at high speed, by the utilization of a substitution matrix. Word hit patterns are observed to define possible matches before doing an optimized search of local alignments. The current package of FASTA has programs for DNA, protein, translated DNA and peptide searches.

Files in the .fasta file extension typically start with a header line, and can also contain comments and other information, such as sequence data. Every sequence data in files with the .fasta file extension starts with the symbol ">", and is followed by a sequence name; the description and the rest of the lines are the actual sequence. Sequence files in the .fasta file extension are able to be accessed and analyzed by utilizing software for DNA Analysis. For Windows platforms, examples are: GeoSpiza FinchTV, CubicDesign DNA Baser and GeneStudio SeqVerter.

Author: David J. Lipman and William R. Pearson
Author URL:
Related Applications: GeoSpiza FinchTV, CubiDesign DNA Baser, GeneStudio SeqVerter, Emboss AbiView, 4Peaks
Common Path: N/A


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Do you have errors with .FASTA files?

The Cause for .FASTA files Errors:

A common and likely cause for .FASTA files errors is damage in the Windows registry - fixing is essential to protect against more corruption in other software and/or system devices. Experiencing these errors puts your system at risk for fatal crashes, blue screen errors and even hardware failure.

.FASTA files Errors - Common Symptoms:

Typical symptoms from .FASTA files errors include poor system speed, long software start up speed, problems saving documents, long pauses in software functions, software closes without showing an error, input freezes and programs crash.

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How to Fix .FASTA File Extension Errors    |    Repair .FASTA File Errors    |    What is the .FASTA File Extension?