Mapping genotype to phenotype is an essential topic in genetics and genomics research. As the Omics data become increasingly available, genome-wide association study (GWAS) has been widely applied to establish the relationship between genotype and phenotype. However, signals detected by GWAS usually span broad genomic regions with many underneath candidate genes, making it challenging to interpret and validate the molecular functions of the candidate genes. Under the context of genetics research, we hypothesized a causal chain from genotype to phenotype partially mediated by intermediate molecular processes, i.e., gene expression. To test this hypothesis, we applied the high dimensional mediation analysis, a class of causal inference method with an assumed causal chain from the exposure to the mediator to the outcome, and implemented it to the maize diversity panel (N=280 lines). Using 40 publicly available agronomic traits, 66 newly generated metabolic traits, and published RNA-seq data from seven different tissues, we detected N=736 unique mediating genes, explaining an average of 12.7\% phenotypic variance due to mediation. Noticeably, 83/736 (11\%) genes were identified in mediating more than one trait, suggesting the prevalence of pleiotropic mediating effects. Among those pleiotropic mediators, benzoxazinone synthesis 13 (Bx13), a well-characterized gene encoding a 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase, was identified mediating 37 different agronomic and metabolic traits. Further genetic and genomic analyses of the bx13 and adjacent mediating genes suggested a 3D co-regulation modulation likely affect their expression levels and eventually lead to phenotypic consequences. Our results suggested the genome-wide mediation analysis is a powerful tool to integrate Omics data in providing causal inference to connect genotype to phenotype.
- Downloaded 554 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 50,894
- In genetics: 2,314
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 5,209
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 13,437
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!