Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

Transcriptome Related Abstracts

6 An Analysis System for Integrating High-Throughput Transcript Abundance Data with Metabolic Pathways in Green Algae

Authors: Han-Qin Zheng, Yi-Fan Chiang-Hsieh, Chia-Hung Chien, Wen-Chi Chang


As the most important non-vascular plants, algae have many research applications, including high species diversity, biofuel sources, adsorption of heavy metals and, following processing, health supplements. With the increasing availability of next-generation sequencing (NGS) data for algae genomes and transcriptomes, an integrated resource for retrieving gene expression data and metabolic pathway is essential for functional analysis and systems biology in algae. However, gene expression profiles and biological pathways are displayed separately in current resources, and making it impossible to search current databases directly to identify the cellular response mechanisms. Therefore, this work develops a novel AlgaePath database to retrieve gene expression profiles efficiently under various conditions in numerous metabolic pathways. AlgaePath, a web-based database, integrates gene information, biological pathways, and next-generation sequencing (NGS) datasets in Chlamydomonasreinhardtii and Neodesmus sp. UTEX 2219-4. Users can identify gene expression profiles and pathway information by using five query pages (i.e. Gene Search, Pathway Search, Differentially Expressed Genes (DEGs) Search, Gene Group Analysis, and Co-Expression Analysis). The gene expression data of 45 and 4 samples can be obtained directly on pathway maps in C. reinhardtii and Neodesmus sp. UTEX 2219-4, respectively. Genes that are differentially expressed between two conditions can be identified in Folds Search. Furthermore, the Gene Group Analysis of AlgaePath includes pathway enrichment analysis, and can easily compare the gene expression profiles of functionally related genes in a map. Finally, Co-Expression Analysis provides co-expressed transcripts of a target gene. The analysis results provide a valuable reference for designing further experiments and elucidating critical mechanisms from high-throughput data. More than an effective interface to clarify the transcript response mechanisms in different metabolic pathways under various conditions, AlgaePath is also a data mining system to identify critical mechanisms based on high-throughput sequencing.

Keywords: Transcriptome, Algae, Metabolic Pathway, next-generation sequencing (NGS), co-expression

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5 De Novo Assembly and Characterization of the Transcriptome from the Fluoroacetate Producing Plant, Dichapetalum Cymosum

Authors: Selisha A. Sooklal, Phelelani Mpangase, Shaun Aron, Karl Rumbold


Organically bound fluorine (C-F bond) is extremely rare in nature. Despite this, the first fluorinated secondary metabolite, fluoroacetate, was isolated from the plant Dichapetalum cymosum (commonly known as Gifblaar). However, the enzyme responsible for fluorination (fluorinase) in Gifblaar was never isolated and very little progress has been achieved in understanding this process in higher plants. Fluorinated compounds have vast applications in the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and fine chemicals industries. Consequently, an enzyme capable of catalysing a C-F bond has great potential as a biocatalyst in the industry considering that the field of fluorination is virtually synthetic. As with any biocatalyst, a range of these enzymes are required. Therefore, it is imperative to expand the exploration for novel fluorinases. This study aimed to gain molecular insights into secondary metabolite biosynthesis in Gifblaar using a high-throughput sequencing-based approach. Mechanical wounding studies were performed using Gifblaar leaf tissue in order to induce expression of the fluorinase. The transcriptome of the wounded and unwounded plant was then sequenced on the Illumina HiSeq platform. A total of 26.4 million short sequence reads were assembled into 77 845 transcripts using Trinity. Overall, 68.6 % of transcripts were annotated with gene identities using public databases (SwissProt, TrEMBL, GO, COG, Pfam, EC) with an E-value threshold of 1E-05. Sequences exhibited the greatest homology to the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana (27 %). A total of 244 annotated transcripts were found to be differentially expressed between the wounded and unwounded plant. In addition, secondary metabolic pathways present in Gifblaar were successfully reconstructed using Pathway tools. Due to lack of genetic information for plant fluorinases, a transcript failed to be annotated as a fluorinating enzyme. Thus, a local database containing the 5 existing bacterial fluorinases was created. Fifteen transcripts having homology to partial regions of existing fluorinases were found. In efforts to obtain the full coding sequence of the Gifblaar fluorinase, primers were designed targeting the regions of homology and genome walking will be performed to amplify the unknown regions. This is the first genetic data available for Gifblaar. It has provided novel insights into the mechanisms of metabolite biosynthesis and will allow for the discovery of the first eukaryotic fluorinase.

Keywords: Transcriptome, biocatalyst, fluorinase, gifblaar

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4 Assessing Significance of Correlation with Binomial Distribution

Authors: Jitendra Kumar, Vijay Kumar Singh, Pooja Kushwaha, Prabhat Ranjan, Krishna Kumar Ojha


Present day high-throughput genomic technologies, NGS/microarrays, are producing large volume of data that require improved analysis methods to make sense of the data. The correlation between genes and samples has been regularly used to gain insight into many biological phenomena including, but not limited to, co-expression/co-regulation, gene regulatory networks, clustering and pattern identification. However, presence of outliers and violation of assumptions underlying Pearson correlation is frequent and may distort the actual correlation between the genes and lead to spurious conclusions. Here, we report a method to measure the strength of association between genes. The method assumes that the expression values of a gene are Bernoulli random variables whose outcome depends on the sample being probed. The method considers the two genes as uncorrelated if the number of sample with same outcome for both the genes (Ns) is equal to certainly expected number (Es). The extent of correlation depends on how far Ns can deviate from the Es. The method does not assume normality for the parent population, fairly unaffected by the presence of outliers, can be applied to qualitative data and it uses the binomial distribution to assess the significance of association. At this stage, we would not claim about the superiority of the method over other existing correlation methods, but our method could be another way of calculating correlation in addition to existing methods. The method uses binomial distribution, which has not been used until yet, to assess the significance of association between two variables. We are evaluating the performance of our method on NGS/microarray data, which is noisy and pierce by the outliers, to see if our method can differentiate between spurious and actual correlation. While working with the method, it has not escaped our notice that the method could also be generalized to measure the association of more than two variables which has been proven difficult with the existing methods.

Keywords: correlation, Transcriptome, Microarray, outliers, binomial distribution

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3 Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Role of Long Non-Coding RNA NEAT1 in Dengue Patients

Authors: Abhaydeep Pandey, Shweta Shukla, Saptamita Goswami, Bhaswati Bandyopadhyay, Sudhanshu Vrati, Arup Banerjee, Vishnampettai Ramachandran


Background: Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are the important regulators of gene expression and play important role in viral replication and disease progression. The role of lncRNA genes in the pathogenesis of Dengue virus-mediated pathogenesis is currently unknown. Methods: To gain additional insights, we utilized an unbiased RNA sequencing followed by in silico analysis approach to identify the differentially expressed lncRNA and genes that are associated with dengue disease progression. Further, we focused our study on lncRNAs NEAT1 (Nuclear Paraspeckle Assembly Transcript 1) as it was found to be differentially expressed in PBMC of dengue infected patients. Results: The expression of lncRNAs NEAT1, as compared to dengue infection (DI), was significantly down-regulated as the patients developed the complication. Moreover, pairwise analysis on follow up patients confirmed that suppression of NEAT1 expression was associated with rapid fall in platelet count in dengue infected patients. Severe dengue patients (DS) (n=18; platelet count < 20K) when recovered from infection showing high NEAT1 expression as it observed in healthy donors. By co-expression network analysis and subsequent validation, we revealed that coding gene; IFI27 expression was significantly up-regulated in severe dengue cases and negatively correlated with NEAT1 expression. To discriminate DI from dengue severe, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was calculated. It revealed sensitivity and specificity of 100% (95%CI: 85.69 – 97.22) and area under the curve (AUC) = 0.97 for NEAT1. Conclusions: Altogether, our first observations demonstrate that monitoring NEAT1and IFI27 expression in dengue patients could be useful in understanding dengue virus-induced disease progression and may be involved in pathophysiological processes.

Keywords: Transcriptome, Dengue, LncRNA, NEAT1

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2 Differential Expression Analysis of Busseola fusca Larval Transcriptome in Response to Cry1Ab Toxin Challenge

Authors: Bianca Peterson, Tomasz J. Sańko, Carlos C. Bezuidenhout, Johnnie Van Den Berg


Busseola fusca (Fuller) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), the maize stem borer, is a major pest in sub-Saharan Africa. It causes economic damage to maize and sorghum crops and has evolved non-recessive resistance to genetically modified (GM) maize expressing the Cry1Ab insecticidal toxin. Since B. fusca is a non-model organism, very little genomic information is publicly available, and is limited to some cytochrome c oxidase I, cytochrome b, and microsatellite data. The biology of B. fusca is well-described, but still poorly understood. This, in combination with its larval-specific behavior, may pose problems for limiting the spread of current resistant B. fusca populations or preventing resistance evolution in other susceptible populations. As part of on-going research into resistance evolution, B. fusca larvae were collected from Bt and non-Bt maize in South Africa, followed by RNA isolation (15 specimens) and sequencing on the Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform. Quality of reads was assessed with FastQC, after which Trimmomatic was used to trim adapters and remove low quality, short reads. Trinity was used for the de novo assembly, whereas TransRate was used for assembly quality assessment. Transcript identification employed BLAST (BLASTn, BLASTp, and tBLASTx comparisons), for which two libraries (nucleotide and protein) were created from 3.27 million lepidopteran sequences. Several transcripts that have previously been implicated in Cry toxin resistance was identified for B. fusca. These included aminopeptidase N, cadherin, alkaline phosphatase, ATP-binding cassette transporter proteins, and mitogen-activated protein kinase. MEGA7 was used to align these transcripts to reference sequences from Lepidoptera to detect mutations that might potentially be contributing to Cry toxin resistance in this pest. RSEM and Bioconductor were used to perform differential gene expression analysis on groups of B. fusca larvae challenged and unchallenged with the Cry1Ab toxin. Pairwise expression comparisons of transcripts that were at least 16-fold expressed at a false-discovery corrected statistical significance (p) ≤ 0.001 were extracted and visualized in a hierarchically clustered heatmap using R. A total of 329,194 transcripts with an N50 of 1,019 bp were generated from the over 167.5 million high-quality paired-end reads. Furthermore, 110 transcripts were over 10 kbp long, of which the largest one was 29,395 bp. BLAST comparisons resulted in identification of 157,099 (47.72%) transcripts, among which only 3,718 (2.37%) were identified as Cry toxin receptors from lepidopteran insects. According to transcript expression profiles, transcripts were grouped into three subclusters according to the similarity of their expression patterns. Several immune-related transcripts (pathogen recognition receptors, antimicrobial peptides, and inhibitors) were up-regulated in the larvae feeding on Bt maize, indicating an enhanced immune status in response to toxin exposure. Above all, extremely up-regulated arylphorin genes suggest that enhanced epithelial healing is one of the resistance mechanisms employed by B. fusca larvae against the Cry1Ab toxin. This study is the first to provide a resource base and some insights into a potential mechanism of Cry1Ab toxin resistance in B. fusca. Transcriptomic data generated in this study allows identification of genes that can be targeted by biotechnological improvements of GM crops.

Keywords: Resistance, Transcriptome, Lepidoptera, epithelial healing

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1 Transcriptional Profiling of Developing Ovules in Litchi chinensis

Authors: Ashish Kumar Pathak, Ritika Sharma, Vishal Nath, Sudhir Pratap Singh, Rakesh Tuli


Litchi is a sub-tropical fruit crop with genotypes bearing delicious juicy fruits with variable seed size (bold to rudimentary size). Small seed size is a desirable trait in litchi, as it increases consumer acceptance and fruit processing. The biochemical activities in mid- stage ovules (e.g. 16, 20, 24 and 28 days after anthesis) determine the fate of seed and fruit development in litchi. Comprehensive ovule-specific transcriptome analysis was performed in two litchi genotypes with contrasting seed size to gain molecular insight on determinants of seed fates in litchi fruits. The transcriptomic data was de-novo assembled in 1,39,608 trinity transcripts, out of which 6,325 trinity transcripts were differentially expressed between the two contrasting genotypes. Differential transcriptional pattern was found among ovule development stages in contrasting litchi genotypes. The putative genes for salicylic acid, jasmonic acid and brassinosteroid pathway were down-regulated in ovules of small-seeded litchi. Embryogenesis, cell expansion, seed size and stress related trinity transcripts exhibited altered expression in small-seeded genotype. The putative regulators of seed maturation and seed storage were down-regulated in small-seed genotype.

Keywords: Defence, Seed, Transcriptome, Litchi

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