A transcription unit (TU) consists of K ≥ 1consecutive genes on the same strand of a bacterial genome that are transcribed into a single mRNA molecule under certain conditions. Their identification is an essential step in elucidation of transcriptional regulatory networks. A team led by researchers at the University of Georgia have recently developed a machine-learning method to accurately identify TUs from RNA-seq data, based on two features of the assembled RNA reads: the continuity and stability of RNA-seq coverage across a genomic region. While good performance was achieved by the method on Escherichia coli and Clostridium thermocellum, substantial work is needed to make the program generally applicable to all bacteria, knowing that the program requires organism specific information. A web server, named SeqTU, was developed to automatically identify TUs with given RNA-seq data of any bacterium using a machine-learning approach. The server consists of a number of utility tools, in addition to TU identification, such as data preparation, data quality check and RNA-read mapping. SeqTU provides a user-friendly interface and automated prediction of TUs from given RNA-seq data. The predicted TUs are displayed intuitively using HTML format along with a graphic visualization of the prediction.
Workflow of SeqTU server
Availability – SeqTU is available at: http://csbl.bmb.uga.edu/SeqTU_dev/index.php