Bio::AlignIO::phylip(3) PHYLIP format sequence input/output stream


# Do not use this module directly. Use it via the Bio::AlignIO class.

use Bio::AlignIO;
use Bio::SimpleAlign;
#you can set the name length to something other than the default 10
#if you use a version of phylip (hacked) that accepts ids > 10
my $phylipstream = Bio::AlignIO->new(-format => 'phylip',
-fh => \*STDOUT,
# convert data from one format to another
my $gcgstream = Bio::AlignIO->new(-format => 'msf',
-file => 't/data/cysprot1a.msf');
while( my $aln = $gcgstream->next_aln ) {
# do it again with phylip sequential format format
# can also initialize the object like this
$phylipstream = Bio::AlignIO->new(-interleaved => 0,
-format => 'phylip',
-fh => \*STDOUT,
$gcgstream = Bio::AlignIO->new(-format => 'msf',
-file => 't/data/cysprot1a.msf');
while( my $aln = $gcgstream->next_aln ) {


This object can transform Bio::SimpleAlign objects to and from PHYLIP format. By default it works with the interleaved format. By specifying the flag -interleaved => 0 in the initialization the module can read or write data in sequential format.

Long IDs up to 50 characters are supported by flag -longid => 1. ID strings can be surrounded by single quoted. They are mandatory only if the IDs contain spaces.



Please direct usage questions or support issues to the mailing list:

[email protected]

rather than to the module maintainer directly. Many experienced and reponsive experts will be able look at the problem and quickly address it. Please include a thorough description of the problem with code and data examples if at all possible.

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 the web:

AUTHORS - Heikki Lehvaslaiho and Jason Stajich

Email: heikki at Email: jason at


The rest of the documentation details each of the object methods. Internal methods are usually preceded with a _


 Title   : new
 Usage   : my $alignio = Bio::AlignIO->new(-format => 'phylip'
                                          -file   => '>file',
                                          -idlength => 10,
                                          -idlinebreak => 1);
 Function: Initialize a new L<Bio::AlignIO::phylip> reader or writer
 Returns : L<Bio::AlignIO> object
 Args    : [specific for writing of phylip format files]
           -idlength => integer - length of the id (will pad w/
                                                    spaces if needed)
           -interleaved => boolean - whether interleaved
                                     or sequential format required
           -line_length  => integer of how long a sequence lines should be
           -idlinebreak => insert a line break after the sequence id
                           so that sequence starts on the next line
           -flag_SI => whether or not write a "S" or "I" just after
                       the num.seq. and line len., in the first line
           -tag_length => integer of how long the tags have to be in
                         each line between the space separator. set it
                         to 0 to have 1 tag only.
           -wrap_sequential => boolean for whether or not sequential
                                   format should be broken up or a single line
                                   default is false (single line)
           -longid => boolean for allowing arbitrary long IDs (default is false)


 Title   : next_aln
 Usage   : $aln = $stream->next_aln()
 Function: returns the next alignment in the stream.
           Throws an exception if trying to read in PHYLIP
           sequential format.
 Returns : L<Bio::SimpleAlign> object
 Args    :


 Title   : write_aln
 Usage   : $stream->write_aln(@aln)
 Function: writes the $aln object into the stream in phylip format
 Returns : 1 for success and 0 for error
 Args    : L<Bio::Align::AlignI> object


 Title   : interleaved
 Usage   : my $interleaved = $obj->interleaved
 Function: Get/Set Interleaved status
 Returns : boolean
 Args    : boolean


 Title   : flag_SI
 Usage   : my $flag = $obj->flag_SI
 Function: Get/Set if the Sequential/Interleaved flag has to be shown
           after the number of sequences and sequence length
 Example :
 Returns : boolean
 Args    : boolean


 Title   : idlength
 Usage   : my $idlength = $obj->idlength
 Function: Get/Set value of id length
 Returns : string
 Args    : string


 Title   : line_length
 Usage   : $obj->line_length($newval)
 Returns : value of line_length
 Args    : newvalue (optional)


 Title   : tag_length
 Usage   : $obj->tag_length($newval)
 Example : my $tag_length = $obj->tag_length
 Returns : value of the length for each space-separated tag in a line
 Args    : newvalue (optional) - set to zero to have one tag per line


 Title   : id_linebreak
 Usage   : $obj->id_linebreak($newval)
 Returns : value of id_linebreak
 Args    : newvalue (optional)


 Title   : wrap_sequential
 Usage   : $obj->wrap_sequential($newval)
 Returns : value of wrap_sequential
 Args    : newvalue (optional)


 Title   : longid
 Usage   : $obj->longid($newval)
 Returns : value of longid
 Args    : newvalue (optional)