Atlas of an organism

Jan 18, 2011

While every cell of an organism contains the same genes only a proportion are expressed in any tissue at a given stage in development. Knowing the extent of gene transcription is valuable and a team of European researchers has generated an atlas of gene expression for the developing mouse embryo. This will be a powerful resource to determine co-expression of genes and to identify functional associations between genes relevant to development and disease. The findings will be published next week in the online, open access journal PLoS Biology.

The comprehensive, interactive and freely accessible digital atlas (www.eurexpress.org) includes expression data for over 15,000 genes in hundreds of anatomical structures and led to the identification of tissue-specific and tissue-overlapping . For instance the data revealed new information for several developing structures, such as the telencephalon, a novel organization for the hypothalamus and insight on the signaling pathways involved in renal epithelial differentiation during kidney development.

The project involved researchers from 12 different European institutions, from 6 different countries (Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Switzerland).

"This work was only possible due to the close collaboration of all scientists involved and nicely illustrates the success a coordinated and collaborative effort can achieve. The gene expression atlas will be an important guide to discover gene function and disease mechanisms." says Professor Andrea Ballabio, the coordinator of the study from the Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine, Naples, Italy.

"The size of the task required a team of specialists whose combination of different expertise was needed to achieve an output that is greater than the sum of the parts; the freely available data and the impressive images will be of great help to all researchers working on the function of the genome and the molecular causes of the myriads of genetic disorders" says Professor Stylianos Antonarakis, one of the collaborators of this study at the University of Geneva.

Explore further: Vermicompost leachate improves tomato seedling growth

More information: Diez-Roux G, Banfi S, Sultan M, Geffers L, Anand S, et al. (2010) A High-Resolution Anatomical Atlas of the Transcriptome in the Mouse Embryo. PLoS Biol 9(1): e1000582. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000582

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gene linked with human kidney aging

Oct 16, 2009

A gene has been associated with human kidney aging, according to researchers from Stanford University, the National Institute on Aging, the MedStar Research Institute, and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. In work ...

New DNA Tool Probes Rice Genome

Oct 21, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new tool for investigating the rice genome has been developed by researchers at UC Davis led by Pamela Ronald, professor of plant pathology. The inexpensive, publicly-available rice DNA microarray covers ...

Recommended for you

Vermicompost leachate improves tomato seedling growth

Nov 21, 2014

Worldwide, drought conditions, extreme temperatures, and high soil saline content all have negative effects on tomato crops. These natural processes reduce soil nutrient content and lifespan, result in reduced plant growth ...

Plant immunity comes at a price

Nov 21, 2014

Plants are under permanent attack by a multitude of pathogens. To win the battle against fungi, bacteria, viruses and other pathogens, they have developed a complex and effective immune system. And just as ...

Evolution: The genetic connivances of digits and genitals

Nov 20, 2014

During the development of mammals, the growth and organization of digits are orchestrated by Hox genes, which are activated very early in precise regions of the embryo. These "architect genes" are themselves regulated by ...

Surrogate sushi: Japan biotech for bluefin tuna

Nov 20, 2014

Of all the overfished fish in the seas, luscious, fatty bluefin tuna are among the most threatened. Marine scientist Goro Yamazaki, who is known in this seaside community as "Young Mr. Fish," is working to ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.