We introduce the Yeast Exploration Tool Integrator (YETI), a novel bioinformatics tool for the integrated visualization and analysis of S.cerevisiae (budding yeast) functional genomic data sets. YETI consists of a relational database for the storage and management of data (MySQL) and a standalone program (Java) for visualization and analysis. One of the YETI's strengths is that its user-friendliness towards wet-laboratory biologist users (who will explore the data using YETI as a "workbench") is combined with a solid database structure enabling bioinformaticians to carry out collective analyses of the data sets at the desired levels of detail, as well as considerations of continuance, platform transferability, and expandability.
The prototype version, YETI 1.0, consists of three sections:
Two new sections are currently under development, a Transcriptome Section for the visualization and analysis of gene expression microarray data; and a Cell Section for a sub-cellular structural context and access to metabolic pathways.
YETI is freely available to academics, either for use over the WWW or for download under license at www.bru.ed.ac.uk/~orton/yeti.html.
Although YETI's design is specifically aimed at the yeast S. cerevisiae the framework of the program could be applied to other organisms with relative ease. The only prerequisite is that similar data sets are available, i.e. a completely sequenced genome, a database of gene/protein annotations and experimental functional genomics data sets such as protein-protein interactions.