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BMC Genomics. 2019 Jun 3;20(1):443. doi: 10.1186/s12864-019-5812-0.

Trait ontology analysis based on association mapping studies bridges the gap between crop genomics and Phenomics.

Author information

1
National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, China.
2
National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, China. liujianxiao@mail.hzau.edu.cn.
3
National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, China. hzaulilin@mail.hzau.edu.cn.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Trait ontology (TO) analysis is a powerful system for functional annotation and enrichment analysis of genes. However, given the complexity of the molecular mechanisms underlying phenomes, only a few hundred gene-to-TO relationships in plants have been elucidated to date, limiting the pace of research in this "big data" era.

RESULTS:

Here, we curated all the available trait associated sites (TAS) information from 79 association mapping studies of maize (Zea mays L.) and rice (Oryza sativa L.) lines with diverse genetic backgrounds and built a large-scale TAS-derived TO system for functional annotation of genes in various crops. Our TO system contains information for up to 18,042 genes (6345 in maize at the 25 k level and 11,697 in rice at the 50 k level), including gene-to-TO relationships, which covers over one fifth of the annotated gene sets for maize and rice. A comparison of Gene Ontology (GO) vs. TO analysis demonstrated that the TAS-derived TO system is an efficient alternative tool for gene functional annotation and enrichment analysis. We therefore combined information from the TO, GO, metabolic pathway, and co-expression network databases and constructed the TAS system, which is publicly available at http://tas.hzau.edu.cn . TAS provides a user-friendly interface for functional annotation of genes, enrichment analysis, genome-wide extraction of trait-associated genes, and crosschecking of different functional annotation databases.

CONCLUSIONS:

TAS bridges the gap between genomic and phenomic information in crops. This easy-to-use tool will be useful for geneticists, biologists, and breeders in the agricultural community, as it facilitates the dissection of molecular mechanisms conferring agronomic traits in an easy, genome-wide manner.

KEYWORDS:

Enrichment analysis; Functional genomics; Maize; Rice; Trait ontology

PMID:
31159731
PMCID:
PMC6547493
DOI:
10.1186/s12864-019-5812-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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