- Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Schiffthaler, Bastian; van Zalen, Elena; Serrano, Alonso R.; Street, Nathaniel R.; Delhomme, Nicolas
Gene regulatory and gene co-expression networks are powerful research tools for identifying biological signal within high-dimensional gene expression data. In recent years, research has focused on addressing shortcomings of these techniques with regard to the low signal-to-noise ratio, non-linear interactions and dataset dependent biases of published methods. Furthermore, it has been shown that aggregating networks from multiple methods provides improved results. Despite this, few useable and scalable software tools have been implemented to perform such best-practice analyses. Here, we present Seidr (stylized Seior), a software toolkit designed to assist scientists in gene regulatory and gene co-expression network inference. Seidr creates community networks to reduce algorithmic bias and utilizes noise corrected network backboning to prune noisy edges in the networks. Using benchmarks in real-world conditions across three eukaryotic model organisms, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Drosophila melanogaster, and Arabidopsis thaliana, we show that individual algorithms are biased toward functional evidence for certain gene-gene interactions. We further demonstrate that the community network is less biased, providing robust performance across different standards and comparisons for the model organisms. Finally, we apply Seidr to a network of drought stress in Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Krast) as an example application in a non-model species. We demonstrate the use of a network inferred using Seidr for identifying key components, communities and suggesting gene function for non-annotated genes.
Gene network inference; Gene regulatory network; Gene co-expression network; Systems biology; Functional genomics
2023, Volume: 9, number: 6, article number: e16811
Publisher: CELL PRESS
Bioinformatics and Systems Biology