Small, noncoding RNA genes pervade bacteria. Our understanding of these noncoding genes has increased dramatically in recent years, thanks, in part, to advances in high-throughput sequencing technology. High-throughput sequencing technology enables, among other things, experiments that produce massive amounts of data about RNA transcripts in bacteria. However, processing the large resulting data sets from high-throughput sequencing experiments can be a bottleneck in biological and medical research studies, partly because existing methods are insufficient for analyzing these data sets from bacteria. This project aims to develop a computational system for managing and analyzing large sets of data from bacterial high-throughput sequencing experiments. As part of this computational system, new algorithms will be developed for determining a map of all RNA transcripts evinced by high-throughput sequencing data for a bacterial species. Further, a public database will be created to store and manage information about the growing number of small RNA genes characterized in bacteria. Finally, since many small RNA genes in bacteria act as regulators of other RNAs, computational methods will be developed to identify the interactions between these noncoding genes and their RNA targets. The methods developed will be applied and evaluated in several different bacterial systems.

Public Health Relevance

High-throughput sequencing experiments can provide information about gene expression in human pathogens during infection, but existing computational methods for processing the information is insufficient. In this project, computational tools and methods will be developed for analyzing high-throughput sequencing data, and these new methods will be evaluated on data collected from a model bacterial organism, Escherichia coli, and from the human pathogens Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Streptococcus pyogenes. More broadly, the database and computational infrastructure developed in this project will serve as resources to biological and medical researchers studying myriad bacterial pathogens of humans.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Type
Academic Research Enhancement Awards (AREA) (R15)
Project #
1R15GM102755-01A1
Application #
8489979
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-GGG-H (90))
Program Officer
Bender, Michael T
Project Start
2013-06-03
Project End
2016-05-31
Budget Start
2013-06-03
Budget End
2016-05-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$294,954
Indirect Cost
$94,951
Name
Wellesley College
Department
Biostatistics & Other Math Sci
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
076572965
City
Wellesley
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02481
Kery, Mary Beth; Feldman, Monica; Livny, Jonathan et al. (2014) TargetRNA2: identifying targets of small regulatory RNAs in bacteria. Nucleic Acids Res 42:W124-9