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A Comparison Analysis for Protein-Protein Interaction Network-Based Methods in Prioritizing Arabidopsis Functional Genes

Author(s):

Chun-Jing Si, Si-Min Deng, Yuan Quan* and Hong-Yu Zhang  

Abstract:


Background: Connecting genes to phenotypes is still a great challenge in genetics. Research related to gene-phenotype associations has made remarkable progress recently due to high-throughput sequencing technology and genome-wide association study (GWAS). However, these genes, which are considered to be significantly associated with a target phenotype according to traditional GWAS, are less precise or subject to greater confounding.

Objective: The present study is an attempt to prioritize functional genes for complex phenotypes employing protein-protein interaction (PPI) network-based systems genetics methods on available GWAS results.

Method: In this paper, we calculated the functional gene enrichment ratios of the trait ontology of A. thaliana for three common systems genetics methods (i.e. GeneRank, K-shell and HotNet2). Then, comparison of gene enrichment ratios obtained by PPI network-based methods was performed. Finally, a hybrid model was proposed, integrating GeneRank, comprehensive score algorithm and HotNet diffusion-oriented subnetworks (HotNet2) to prioritize functional genes.

Results: These PPI network-based systems genetics methods were indeed useful for prioritizing phenotype-associated genes. And functional gene enrichment ratios calculated from the top 20% of GeneRank-identified genes were higher than these ratios of K-shell and these ratios of HotNet2 for most phenotypes. However, the hybrid model can improve the efficiency of functional gene enrichment for A. thaliana (up to 40%).

Conclusion: The present study provides a hybrid method integrating GeneRank, comprehensive score algorithm and HotNet2 to prioritize functional genes. The method will contribute to functional genomics in plants. The source data and codes are freely available at http://47.242.161.60/Plant/.

Keywords:

PPI network, systems genetics, GWAS, gene-phenotype associations, functional gene prioritization, hybrid algorithm.

Affiliation:

Hubei Key Laboratory of Agricultural Bioinformatics, College of Informatics, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei Key Laboratory of Agricultural Bioinformatics, College of Informatics, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei Key Laboratory of Agricultural Bioinformatics, College of Informatics, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei Key Laboratory of Agricultural Bioinformatics, College of Informatics, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan



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