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BioMed Central

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BMC Bioinformatics

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Background: RNA-seq, wherein RNA transcripts expressed in a sample are sequenced and quantified, has become a widely used technique to study disease and development. With RNA-seq, transcription abundance can be measured, differential expression genes between groups and functional enrichment of those genes can be computed. However, biological insights from RNA-seq are often limited by computational analysis and the enormous volume of resulting data, preventing facile and meaningful review and interpretation of gene expression profiles. Particularly, in cases where the samples under study exhibit uncontrolled variation, deeper analysis of functional enrichment would be necessary to visualize samples’ gene expression activity under each biological function. Results: We developed a Bioconductor package rgsepd that streamlines RNA-seq data analysis by wrapping commonly used tools DESeq2 and GOSeq in a user-friendly interface and performs a gene-subset linear projection to cluster heterogeneous samples by Gene Ontology (GO) terms. Rgsepd computes significantly enriched GO terms for each experimental condition and generates multidimensional projection plots highlighting how each predefined gene set’s multidimensional expression may delineate samples. Conclusions: The rgsepd serves to automate differential expression, functional annotation, and exploratory data analyses to highlight subtle expression differences among samples based on each significant biological function.


Accepted version. BMC Bioinformaticsvolume Vol. 20, Article number: 115 (2019). DOI. © The Author(s). 2019 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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