The value of genotype-specific reference for transcriptome analyses in barley

Wenbin Guo, Max Coulter, Robbie Waugh, Runxuan Zhang (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


It is increasingly apparent that although different genotypes within a species share "core" genes, they also contain variable numbers of "specific" genes and different structures of "core" genes that are only present in a subset of individuals. Using a common reference genome may thus lead to a loss of genotype-specific information in the assembled Reference Transcript Dataset (RTD) and the generation of erroneous, incomplete or misleading transcriptomics analysis results. In this study, we assembled genotype-specific RTD (sRTD) and common reference-based RTD (cRTD) from RNA-seq data of cultivated Barke and Morex barley, respectively. Our quantitative evaluation showed that the sRTD has a significantly higher diversity of transcripts and alternative splicing events, whereas the cRTD missed 40% of transcripts present in the sRTD and it only has ∼70% accurate transcript assemblies. We found that the sRTD is more accurate for transcript quantification as well as differential expression analysis. However, gene-level quantification is less affected, which may be a reasonable compromise when a high-quality genotype-specific reference is not available.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202101255
Number of pages16
JournalLife Science Alliance
Issue number8
Early online date22 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • Systems and Computational Biology
  • Plant Science
  • Genomics and Functional Genomics


Dive into the research topics of 'The value of genotype-specific reference for transcriptome analyses in barley'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this