The laboratory deals with computer analysis of the whole genome sequencing data obtained in the laboratory itself, by its collaborators, as well as presented in the public domain. The whole genome sequencing is reading and deciphering the sequence of DNA or RNA from any biological sample. The analysis of these data allows us to reveal the genetic programs built into the DNA of organisms, as well as their variation in pathology and environmental changes.

The development of "smart" computer methods and programs for the analysis of Big Data in biology is one of the main directions of laboratory research.

Big Data are the massive amounts of data obtained through the whole genome sequencing. Results of the RNA reading in individual experiments take up several gigabytes of memory and contain information about the sequence of the RNA reading and their number. Processing these data sets is a difficult task for a biologist, moreover, it is often incomprehensible for other scientists. As a result, up to 95% of the information obtained through the whole genome sequencing remains unexplored. Methods to analyze such data are being developed in the laboratory.

In the last five years, the whole genome sequencing has become rather available, therefore at the moment a huge amount of data received by the world scientific community has been obtained. Their "meta-analysis" that is, the joint analysis of data obtained in different experiments, will significantly help to advance in our knowledge of the mechanisms of biological and ecological processes. When the reason becomes clear the process can be managed, treated or improved, adapted to the current needs. Such analysis will allow, for example, to improve the properties of plants (fruitfulness, resistance to external environmental conditions) through the targeted impact on the most important properties of the selected genes. The results will also allow to treat diseases when determining which genes are starting the development of the disease. It will be possible to influence them and to carry out successful treatment or prevention.

Application areas of bioinformatics are not limited to the examples mentioned above. They are much wider and will only increase as the large-scale development of computer methods for reading and deep analysis of the whole genome sequencing data in the global scientific community is being dealt with only during the last 5-10 years. The genetics of plant development is the second area of ​​scientific interest of the laboratory staff. In particular, experimental and computer analysis of mechanisms activating the growth and development of plants, e. g. plant hormones ethylene and auxin, are being carried out. Both plant hormones are widely used in agriculture and the food industry. Incorporating the whole genome-sequencing data allows you to see the interaction of signals from auxin and ethylene at a molecular level. Bioinformatic methods and Big Data analysis programs, obtained during the study of plant genetics, are general and can be used in experiments involving other living organisms.

Another important task of the laboratory is the training of specialists in computer transcriptomics and bioinformatics. The whole genome sequencing is now carried out in almost every genetic laboratory around the world. However, in Russia and in the world there are a few specialists capable of conducting meta-analysis of the genome-wide data, developing new methods and algorithms to solve non-standard problems.

The Mirror Lab has been created in partnership with the Department of Bioinformatics at the University of Martin Luther (Germany). The supervisor of the laboratory is Professor Ivo Grosse, who is a specialist in the field of bioinformatics, the head of the Department of Bioinformatics at the University of Martin Luther.

International partners of the laboratory: University of Martin Luther, Institute of Informatics (Halle, Germany), University of Freiburg (Germany), National Center for Biotechnological Information (USA).

Head of the laboratory: PhD in Biology Elena Zemlyanskaya, ezemlyanskaya@bionet.nsc.ru 

Section of Information Biology at Department of Natural Sciences NSU
Institute of Cytology and Genetics of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences