Cells use signaling and regulatory pathways connecting numerous constituents, such as DNA, RNA, proteins, and small molecules, to coordinate multiple functions, allowing them to adapt to changing environments. High-throughput experimental methods enable the measurement of expression levels for thousands of genes and the determination of thousands of protein-protein or protein-DNA interactions. It is increasingly recognized that theoretical methods, such as statistical inference, graph analysis, and dynamic modeling, are needed to make sense of this abundance of information. This perspective argues that theoretical methods and models are most useful if they lead to novel biological predictions and reviews biological predictions arising from three systems biology topics: graph inference (i.e., reconstructing the network of interactions among a set of biological entities), graph analysis (i.e., mining the information content of the network), and dynamic network modeling (i.e., connecting the interaction network to the dynamic behavior of the system). The methods and principles discussed in this perspective are generally applicable, and the examples were selected from plant biology wherever possible.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology