The accurate characterization of RNA transcripts and expression levels across species is critical for understanding transcriptome evolution. As available RNA-seq data accumulate rapidly, there is a great demand for tools that build gene annotations for cross-species RNA-seq analysis. However, prevailing methods of ortholog annotation for RNA-seq analysis between closely-related species do not take inter-species variation in mappability into consideration.
Here researchers from Yale School of Medicine present XSAnno, a computational framework that integrates previous approaches with multiple filters to improve the accuracy of inter-species transcriptome comparisons. The implementation of this approach in comparing RNA-seq data of human, chimpanzee, and rhesus macaque brain transcriptomes has reduced the false discovery of differentially expressed genes, while maintaining a low false negative rate.
Availability – The XSAnno package and pre-processed ortholog annotations of selected species can be downloaded at http://medicine.yale.edu/lab/sestan/resources/index.aspx.