Holomics - a user-friendly R shiny application for multi-omics data integration and analysis

Katharina Munk, Lisa Ziemba, Günter Brader, Eva M. Molin

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung


An organism's observable traits, or phenotype, result from intricate interactions among genes, proteins, metabolites and the environment. External factors, such as associated microorganisms, along with biotic and abiotic stressors, can significantly impact this complex biological system, influencing processes like growth, development and productivity. A comprehensive analysis of the entire biological system and its interactions is thus crucial to identify key components that support adaptation to stressors and to discover biomarkers applicable in breeding programs or disease diagnostics. Since the genomics era, several other 'omics' disciplines have emerged, and recent advances in high-throughput technologies have facilitated the generation of additional omics datasets. While traditionally analyzed individually, the last decade has seen an increase in multi-omics data integration and analysis strategies aimed at achieving a holistic understanding of interactions across different biological layers. Despite these advances, the analysis of multi-omics data is still challenging due to their scale, complexity, high dimensionality and multimodality. To address these challenges, a number of analytical tools and strategies have been developed, including clustering and differential equations, which require advanced knowledge in bioinformatics and statistics. Therefore, this study recognizes the need for user-friendly tools by introducing Holomics, an accessible and easy-to-use R shiny application with multi-omics functions tailored for scientists with limited bioinformatics knowledge. Holomics provides a well-defined workflow, starting with the upload and pre-filtering of single-omics data, which are then further refined by single-omics analysis focusing on key features. Subsequently, these reduced datasets are subjected to multi-omics analyses to unveil correlations between 2-n datasets. This paper concludes with a real-world case study where microbiomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics data from previous studies that elucidate factors associated with improved sugar beet storability are integrated using Holomics. The results are discussed in the context of the biological background, underscoring the importance of multi-omics insights. This example not only highlights the versatility of Holomics in handling different types of omics data, but also validates its consistency by reproducing findings from preceding single-omics studies.
Seiten (von - bis)93
FachzeitschriftBMC Bioinformatics
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Apr. 2024

Research Field

  • Exploration of Biological Resources

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