Automatic recognition and annotation of gene expression patterns of fly embryos

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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.


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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