High-throughput comparison, functional annotation, and metabolic modeling of plant genomes using the PlantSEED resource

Samuel M.D. Seaver, Svetlana Gerdes, Océane Frelin, Claudia Lerma-Ortiz, Louis M.T. Bradbury, Rémi Zallot, Ghulam Hasnain, Thomas D. Niehaus, Basma El Yacoubi, Shiran Pasternak, Robert Olson, Gordon Pusch, Ross Overbeek, Rick Stevens, Valérie De Crécy-Lagard, Doreen Ware, Andrew D. Hanson, Christopher S. Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


The increasing number of sequenced plant genomes is placing new demands on the methods applied to analyze, annotate, and model these genomes. Today's annotation pipelines result in inconsistent gene assignments that complicate comparative analyses and prevent efficient construction of metabolic models. To overcome these problems, we have developed the PlantSEED, an integrated, metabolism-centric database to support subsystems-based annotation and metabolic model reconstruction for plant genomes. PlantSEED combines SEED subsystems technology, first developed for microbial genomes, with refined protein families and biochemical data to assign fully consistent functional annotations to orthologous genes, particularly those encoding primary metabolic pathways. Seamless integration with its parent, the prokaryotic SEED database, makes PlantSEED a unique environment for crosskingdom comparative analysis of plant and bacterial genomes. The consistent annotations imposed by PlantSEED permit rapid reconstruction and modeling of primary metabolism for all plant genomes in the database. This feature opens the unique possibility of modelbased assessment of the completeness and accuracy of gene annotation and thus allows computational identification of genes and pathways that are restricted to certain genomes or need better curation. We demonstrate the PlantSEED system by producing consistent annotations for 10 reference genomes. We also produce a functioning metabolic model for each genome, gapfilling to identify missing annotations and proposing gene candidates for missing annotations. Models are built around an extended biomass composition representing the most comprehensive published to date. To our knowledge, our models are the first to be published for seven of the genomes analyzed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9645-9650
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jul 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Computational biochemistry
  • Plant genomics
  • Plant metabolism
  • Systems biology


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