PlantTFcat: an online plant transcription factor and transcriptional regulator categorization and analysis tool

BMC Bioinformatics. 2013 Nov 12;14:321. doi: 10.1186/1471-2105-14-321.


Background: Plants regulate intrinsic gene expression through transcription factors (TFs), transcriptional regulators (TRs), chromatin regulators (CRs), and the basal transcription machinery. An understanding of plant gene regulatory mechanisms at a systems level requires the identification of these regulatory elements on a genomic scale.

Results: Here, we present PlantTFcat, a high-performance web-based analysis tool that is designed to identify and categorize plant TF/TR/CR genes from genome-scale protein and nucleic acid sequences by systematically analyzing InterProScan domain patterns in protein sequences. The comprehensive prediction logics that are included in PlantTFcat are based on relationships between gene families and conserved domains from 108 published plant TF/TR/CR families. These prediction logics effectively distinguish TF/TR/CR families with common conserved domains. Our systematic performance evaluations indicate that PlantTFcat annotates known TF/TR/CR families with high coverage and sensitivity.

Conclusions: PlantTFcat provides an analysis tool to identify and categorize plant TF/TR/CR genes on a genomic scale. PlantTFcat is freely available to the public at

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Forecasting
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Genome, Plant / genetics
  • Internet
  • Medicago truncatula / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Software
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Zea mays / genetics


  • Chromatin
  • Plant Proteins
  • Transcription Factors