Studying gene expression in the era of big data

Professor Marek Mutwil
Nanyang Technological University
Friday, October 1, 2021 - 11:00am
Invited Speaker Seminar
We can now freely download more than 100,000 terabases of RNA sequencing (gene expression) data for thousands of species belonging to the plant, bacteria, animal, fungi, archaea, and protist kingdoms. The exponentially-growing expression data presents a new, exciting opportunity to study gene function and the evolution of thousands of species. Still, the methods to process, compare and extract valuable information from all this data are largely missing. In this seminar, I will showcase our approaches to tap into this underutilized treasure trove. First, I will discuss how we developed a new method that allowed a class of 285 undergraduate students to process ~27,000 RNA-seq experiments and identify genes potentially crucial for protein synthesis in pathogenic bacteria. Second, I will show how we used gene expression data to reveal thousands of genes essential organ function in land plants and how we gained novel insights into the evolution of plant organs.
Professor Nicholas Provart
Dept of Cell and Systems Biology
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