Gene co-expression analysis is a data analysis technique that helps identify groups of genes with similar expression patterns across several different conditions. By means of these techniques, different groups have been able to assign putative metabolic pathways and functions to understudied genes and to identify novel metabolic regulation networks for different metabolites. Some groups have even used network comparative studies to understand the evolution of these networks from green algae to land plants. In this chapter, we will go over the basic definitions required to understand network topology and gene module identification. Additionally, we offer the reader a walk-through a standard analysis pipeline as implemented in the package WGCNA that takes as input raw fastq files and obtains co-expressed gene clusters and representative gene expression patterns from each module for downstream applications.
Keywords: Eigengene; Free scale topology; Gene co-expression; Gene modules; RNA-seq; Topology overlap measurement.
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