CATchUP: A web database providing information on spatiotemporal specific gene expression

CATchUPNakamura et al. have created a searchable database, CATchUP (http://plantomics.mind.meiji.ac.jp/CATchUP) that allows the user to explore the spatiotemporal expression of genes across eight plant species (monocots and dicots) using data from publically available databases of large-scale RNA-Seq data. The authors define a parameter, Δdmax, which defines the “maximum difference in relative gene expression levels between sample runs which are neighboring when sorted by the levels” – in other words, genes that are strongly biased towards one tissue or condition. As examples, genes with a large Δdmax include the drought-inducible gene RD29B and the inflorescence-specific gene TFL1.  Because several species are included in the database, it is possible to determine if a gene’s narrow expression profile is present in other species, facilitating the understanding of gene functions in plants. Plant Cell Physiol. 10.1093/pcp/pcw199