Summary

In any population under selective pressure, a central challenge is to distinguish the genes that drive adaptation from others which, subject to population variation, harbor many neutral mutations de novo. We recently showed that such genes could be identified by supplementing information on mutational frequency with an evolutionary analysis of the likely functional impact of coding variants. This approach improved the discovery of driver genes in both lab-evolved and environmental Escherichia coli strains. To facilitate general adoption, we now developed ShinyBioHEAT, an R Shiny web-based application that enables identification of phenotype driving gene in two commonly used model bacteria, E.coli and Bacillus subtilis, with no specific computational skill requirements. ShinyBioHEAT not only supports transparent and interactive analysis of lab evolution data in E.coli and B.subtilis, but it also creates dynamic visualizations of mutational impact on protein structures, which add orthogonal checks on predicted drivers.

Availability and implementation

Code for ShinyBioHEAT is available at https://github.com/LichtargeLab/ShinyBioHEAT. The Shiny application is additionally hosted at http://bioheat.lichtargelab.org/.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.