CressInt: a user-friendly web resource for genome-scale exploration of gene regulation in Arabidopsis thaliana

Curr Plant Biol. Sep-Dec 2015;3-4:48-55. doi: 10.1016/j.cpb.2015.09.001.

Abstract

The thale cress Arabidopsis thaliana is a powerful model organism for studying a wide variety of biological processes. Recent advances in sequencing technology have resulted in a wealth of information describing numerous aspects of A. thaliana genome function. However, there is a relative paucity of computational systems for efficiently and effectively using these data to create testable hypotheses. We present CressInt, a user-friendly web resource for exploring gene regulatory mechanisms in A. thaliana on a genomic scale. The CressInt system incorporates a variety of genome-wide data types relevant to gene regulation, including transcription factor (TF) binding site models, ChIP-seq, DNase-seq, eQTLs, and GWAS. We demonstrate the utility of CressInt by showing how the system can be used to (1) Identify TFs binding to the promoter of a gene of interest; (2) identify genetic variants that are likely to impact TF binding based on a ChIP-seq dataset; and (3) identify specific TFs whose binding might be impacted by phenotype-associated variants. CressInt is freely available at http://cressint.cchmc.org.

Keywords: Arabidopsis; computational tools; functional genomics; gene regulation; systems biology; transcription factors; web server.