The advancement of techniques to visualize and analyze large-scale sequencing datasets is an area of active research and is rooted in traditional techniques such as heat maps and dendrograms. We introduce dendritic heat maps that display heat map results over aligned DNA sequence clusters for a range of clustering cutoffs. Dendritic heat maps aid in visualizing the effects of group differences on clustering hierarchy and relative abundance of sampled sequences. Here, we artificially generate two separate datasets with simplified mutation and population growth procedures with GC content group separation to use as example phenotypes. In this work, we use the term phenotype to represent any feature by which groups can be separated. These sequences were clustered in a fractional identity range of 0.75 to 1.0 using agglomerative minimum-, maximum-, and average-linkage algorithms, as well as a divisive centroid-based algorithm. We demonstrate that dendritic heat maps give freedom to scrutinize specific clustering levels across a range of cutoffs, track changes in phenotype inequity across multiple levels of sequence clustering specificity, and easily visualize how deeply rooted changes in phenotype inequity are in a dataset. As genotypes diverge in sample populations, clusters are shown to break apart into smaller clusters at higher identity cutoff levels, similar to a dendrogram. Phenotype divergence, which is shown as a heat map of relative abundance bin response, may or may not follow genotype divergences. This joined view highlights the relationship between genotype and phenotype divergence for treatment groups. We discuss the minimum-, maximum-, average-, and centroid-linkage algorithm approaches to building dendritic heat maps and make a case for the divisive "top-down" centroid-based clustering methodology as being the best option visualize the effects of changing factors on clustering hierarchy and relative abundance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)