A combination of gene expression ranking and co-expression network analysis increases discovery rate in large-scale mutant screens for novel Arabidopsis thalian... Academic Article uri icon


  • As challenges to food security increase, the demand for lead genes for improving crop production is growing. However, genetic screens of plant mutants typically yield very low frequencies of desired phenotypes. Here, we present a powerful computational approach for selecting candidate genes for screening insertion mutants. We combined ranking of Arabidopsis thaliana regulatory genes according to their expression in response to multiple abiotic stresses (Multiple Stress [MST] score), with stress-responsive RNA co-expression network analysis to select candidate multiple stress regulatory (MSTR) genes. Screening of 62 T-DNA insertion mutants defective in candidate MSTR genes, for abiotic stress germination phenotypes yielded a remarkable hit rate of up to 62%; this gene discovery rate is 48-fold greater than that of other large-scale insertional mutant screens. Moreover, the …

publication date

  • May 1, 2015