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Optimized probe masking for comparative transcriptomics of closely related species

MPG-Autoren
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Ullrich,  K. K.
Department Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

Volltexte (frei zugänglich)

journal.pone.0078497&type=printable
(Verlagsversion), 458KB

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Zitation

Poeschl, Y., Delker, C., Trenner, J., Ullrich, K. K., Quint, M., & Grosse, I. (2013). Optimized probe masking for comparative transcriptomics of closely related species. PLoS One, 8: e78497. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078497.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-2CBA-8
Zusammenfassung
Microarrays are commonly applied to study the transcriptome of specific species. However, many available microarrays are restricted to model organisms, and the design of custom microarrays for other species is often not feasible. Hence, transcriptomics approaches of non-model organisms as well as comparative transcriptomics studies among two or more species often make use of cost-intensive RNAseq studies or, alternatively, by hybridizing transcripts of a query species to a microarray of a closely related species. When analyzing these cross-species microarray expression data, differences in the transcriptome of the query species can cause problems, such as the following: (i) lower hybridization accuracy of probes due to mismatches or deletions, (ii) probes binding multiple transcripts of different genes, and (iii) probes binding transcripts of non-orthologous genes. So far, methods for (i) exist, but these neglect (ii) and (iii). Here, we propose an approach for comparative transcriptomics addressing problems (i) to (iii), which retains only transcript-specific probes binding transcripts of orthologous genes. We apply this approach to an Arabidopsis lyrata expression data set measured on a microarray designed for Arabidopsis thaliana, and compare it to two alternative approaches, a sequence-based approach and a genomic DNA hybridization-based approach. We investigate the number of retained probe sets, and we validate the resulting expression responses by qRT-PCR. We find that the proposed approach combines the benefit of sequence-based stringency and accuracy while allowing the expression analysis of much more genes than the alternative sequence-based approach. As an added benefit, the proposed approach requires probes to detect transcripts of orthologous genes only, which provides a superior base for biological interpretation of the measured expression responses.