SoyCSN: Soybean context-specific network analysis and prediction based on tissue-specific transcriptome data

Plant Direct. 2019 Sep 17;3(9):e00167. doi: 10.1002/pld3.167. eCollection 2019 Sep.


The Soybean Gene Atlas project provides a comprehensive map for understanding gene expression patterns in major soybean tissues from flower, root, leaf, nodule, seed, and shoot and stem. The RNA-Seq data generated in the project serve as a valuable resource for discovering tissue-specific transcriptome behavior of soybean genes in different tissues. We developed a computational pipeline for Soybean context-specific network (SoyCSN) inference with a suite of prediction tools to analyze, annotate, retrieve, and visualize soybean context-specific networks at both transcriptome and interactome levels. BicMix and Cross-Conditions Cluster Detection algorithms were applied to detect modules based on co-expression relationships across all the tissues. Soybean context-specific interactomes were predicted by combining soybean tissue gene expression and protein-protein interaction data. Functional analyses of these predicted networks provide insights into soybean tissue specificities. For example, under symbiotic, nitrogen-fixing conditions, the constructed soybean leaf network highlights the connection between the photosynthesis function and rhizobium-legume symbiosis. SoyCSN data and all its results are publicly available via an interactive web service within the Soybean Knowledge Base (SoyKB) at SoyCSN provides a useful web-based access for exploring context specificities systematically in gene regulatory mechanisms and gene relationships for soybean researchers and molecular breeders.

Keywords: RNA‐seq; context‐specific network; database; interactome; soybean.