Investigating the importance of anatomical homology for cross-species phenotype comparisons using semantic similarity.
There is growing use of ontologies for the measurement of cross-species phenotype similarity. Such similarity measurements contribute to diverse applications, such as identifying genetic models for human diseases, transferring knowledge among model organisms, and studying the genetic basis of evolutionary innovations. Two organismal features, whether genes, anatomical parts, or any other inherited feature, are considered to be homologous when they are evolutionarily derived from a single feature in a common ancestor. A classic example is the homology between the paired fins of fishes and vertebrate limbs. Anatomical ontologies that model the structural relations among parts may fail to include some known anatomical homologies unless they are deliberately added as separate axioms. The consequences of neglecting known homologies for applications that rely on such ontologies has not been well studied. Here, we examine how semantic similarity is affected when external homology knowledge is included. We measure phenotypic similarity between orthologous and non-orthologous gene pairs between humans and either mouse or zebrafish, and compare the inclusion of real with faux homology axioms. Semantic similarity was preferentially increased for orthologs when using real homology axioms, but only in the more divergent of the two species comparisons (human to zebrafish, not human to mouse), and the relative increase was less than 1% to non-orthologs. By contrast, inclusion of both real and faux random homology axioms preferentially increased similarities between genes that were initially more dissimilar in the other comparisons. Biologically meaningful increases in semantic similarity were seen for a select subset of gene pairs. Overall, the effect of including homology axioms on cross-species semantic similarity was modest at the levels of divergence examined here, but our results hint that it may be greater for more distant species comparisons.
- Downloaded 541 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 60,537
- In bioinformatics: 5,951
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 153,978
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 139,736
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!