Protist.guru: gene expression, co-expression network and comparative transcriptomics database for protists
During the last few decades, the study of microbial ecology has been enabled by molecular and genomic data. DNA sequencing has revealed the surprising extent of microbial diversity and how microbial processes run global ecosystems. However, major gaps in our understanding of the microbial world remain, and one example is that microbial eukaryotes, or protists, are still neglected. To address this gap, we used gene expression data from 15 distinct protist species to create protist.guru - an online database equipped with tools for identifying functional co-expression networks, gene families, and enriched gene clusters. Here, we show how our database can be used to reveal genes involved in important pathways such as the synthesis of secondary carotenoids in Haematococcus lacustris. We expect protist.guru to serve as a valuable resource for protistologists, as well as a catalyst for discoveries and new insights into the biological processes of microbial eukaryotes.