Research Press Release

Finding mistakes in yeast gene libraries

Nature Methods

February 6, 2012

A method for uncovering the extent that scientists incorrectly assigned gene function in libraries of mutated yeast genes is reported online in Nature Methods.Comprehensive libraries of mutated genes in yeast are a workhorse for geneticists, and are widely used to assign gene function in genetic screens and genomics studies. But a ‘neighboring gene effect’ has been documented anecdotally, in which the neighbor of the mutated gene—not the gene itself—is actually responsible for the phenotype.Martin Kupiec and colleagues show that the neighboring gene effect is in fact widespread, affecting on the order of one in ten genes in a prominent deletion collection. They develop and introduce freely available software that uses publicly available protein interaction data to predict the gene that truly causes a given phenotype with high accuracy.


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