Leveraging cyverse resources for de novo comparative transcriptomics of underserved (Non-model) organisms

Blake L. Joyce, Asher K. Haug-Baltzell, Jonathan P. Hulvey, Fiona McCarthy, Upendra Kumar Devisetty, Eric Lyons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This workflow allows novice researchers to leverage advanced computational resources such as cloud computing to carry out pairwise comparative transcriptomics. It also serves as a primer for biologists to develop data scientist computational skills, e.g. executing bash commands, visualization and management of large data sets. All command line code and further explanations of each command or step can be found on the wiki (https://wiki.cyverse.org/wiki/x/dgGtAQ). The Discovery Environment and Atmosphere platforms are connected together through the CyVerse Data Store. As such, once the initial raw sequencing data has been uploaded there is no more need to transfer large data files over an Internet connection, minimizing the amount of time needed to conduct analyses. This protocol is designed to analyze only two experimental treatments or conditions. Differential gene expression analysis is conducted through pairwise comparisons, and will not be suitable to test multiple factors. This workflow is also designed to be manual rather than automated. Each step must be executed and investigated by the user, yielding a better understanding of data and analytical outputs, and therefore better results for the user. Once complete, this protocol will yield de novo assembled transcriptome(s) for underserved (non-model) organisms without the need to map to previously assembled reference genomes (which are usually not available in underserved organism). These de novo transcriptomes are further used in pairwise differential gene expression analysis to investigate genes differing between two experimental conditions. Differentially expressed genes are then functionally annotated to understand the genetic response organisms have to experimental conditions. In total, the data derived from this protocol is used to test hypotheses about biological responses of underserved organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere55009
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number123
StatePublished - May 9 2017


  • Bioinformatics
  • Cloud computing
  • CyVerse
  • Cyberinfrastructure
  • De novo transcriptome assembly
  • Differential gene expression
  • Genetics
  • Issue 123
  • Non-model organisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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