GPrank: An R package for detecting dynamic elements from genome-wide time series

Hande Topa*, Antti Honkela

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
125 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Genome-wide high-throughput sequencing (HTS) time series experiments are a powerful tool for monitoring various genomic elements over time. They can be used to monitor, for example, gene or transcript expression with RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), DNA methylation levels with bisulfite sequencing (BS-seq), or abundances of genetic variants in populations with pooled sequencing (Pool-seq). However, because of high experimental costs, the time series data sets often consist of a very limited number of time points with very few or no biological replicates, posing challenges in the data analysis. Results: Here we present the GPrank R package for modelling genome-wide time series by incorporating variance information obtained during pre-processing of the HTS data using probabilistic quantification methods or from a beta-binomial model using sequencing depth. GPrank is well-suited for analysing both short and irregularly sampled time series. It is based on modelling each time series by two Gaussian process (GP) models, namely, time-dependent and time-independent GP models, and comparing the evidence provided by data under two models by computing their Bayes factor (BF). Genomic elements are then ranked by their BFs, and temporally most dynamic elements can be identified. Conclusions: Incorporating the variance information helps GPrank avoid false positives without compromising computational efficiency. Fitted models can be easily further explored in a browser. Detection and visualisation of temporally most active dynamic elements in the genome can provide a good starting point for further downstream analyses for increasing our understanding of the studied processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number367
Pages (from-to)1-6
JournalBMC Bioinformatics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Bayes factor
  • Gaussian process
  • High-throughput sequencing
  • R
  • Ranking
  • Time series
  • Visualization


Dive into the research topics of 'GPrank: An R package for detecting dynamic elements from genome-wide time series'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this