Visual Comparison of Organism-Specific Metabolic Pathways

Katharina Unger

Supervisor(s): Univ.Ass. Dr.techn. Manuela Waldner, MSc

TU Wien

Abstract: The Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) resource is a combination of multiple databases, containing information about biochemical compounds, reactions, pathways, genes and much more. This database is one of the main resources for bioinformaticians and biologists to gain an understanding of molecular functionality inside organisms. The Orthology (KO) database from KEGG assigns pathways and genes with identical functionality to the same ortholog groups (KO entries). Therefore it is possible to map genes onto the pathway maps and obtain organism-specific visualizations. KEGG offers a web-based graph visualization to explore these pathways, however, the interaction possibilities are restricted and the rendering is inefficient. It is possible to visualize organism-specific pathways but a visual analysis tool to compare ortholog groups of multiple organisms is missing. In this work, we present an efficient interactive web application to compare ortholog groups of multiple organisms in the metabolic reference pathway. We introduce a graph overlay technique to mark the differences and similarities between multiple organisms and demonstrate it with two use cases. Additionally, we compare it against an existing point set membership visualization.
Keywords: Scientific Visualization
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Year: 2019