Automatic recognition and annotation of gene expression patterns of fly embryos

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Abstract

Motivation

Gene expression patterns obtained by in situ mRNA hybridization provide important information about different genes during Drosophila embryogenesis. So far, annotations of these images are done by manually assigning a subset of anatomy ontology terms to an image. This time-consuming process depends heavily on the consistency of experts.

Results

We develop a system to automatically annotate a fruitfly's embryonic tissue in which a gene has expression. We formulate the task as an image pattern recognition problem. For a new fly embryo image, our system answers two questions: (1) Which stage range does an image belong to? (2) Which annotations should be assigned to an image? We propose to identify the wavelet embryo features by multi-resolution 2D wavelet discrete transform, followed by min-redundancy max-relevance feature selection, which yields optimal distinguishing features for an annotation. We then construct a series of parallel bi-class predictors to solve the multi-objective annotation problem since each image may correspond to multiple annotations.

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