A genome scale metabolic network for rice and accompanying analysis of tryptophan, auxin and serotonin biosynthesis regulation under biotic stress

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  • Background: Functional annotations of large plant genome projects mostly provide information on gene function and gene families based on the presence of protein domains and gene homology, but not necessarily in association with gene expression or metabolic and regulatory networks. These additional annotations are necessary to understand the physiology, development and adaptation of a plant and its interaction with the environment. Results: RiceCyc is a metabolic pathway networks database for rice. It is a snapshot of the substrates, metabolites, enzymes, reactions and pathways of primary and intermediary metabolism in rice. RiceCyc version 3.3 features 316 pathways and 6,643 peptide-coding genes mapped to 2,103 enzyme-catalyzed and 87 protein-mediated transport reactions. The initial functional annotations of rice genes with InterPro, Gene Ontology, MetaCyc, and Enzyme Commission (EC) numbers were enriched with annotations provided by KEGG and Gramene databases. The pathway inferences and the network diagrams were first predicted based on MetaCyc reference networks and plant pathways from the Plant Metabolic Network, using the Pathologic module of Pathway Tools. This was enriched by manually adding metabolic pathways and gene functions specifically reported for rice. The RiceCyc database is hierarchically browsable from pathway diagrams to the associated genes, metabolites and chemical structures. Through the integrated tool OMICs Viewer, users can upload transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic data to visualize expression patterns in a virtual cell. RiceCyc, along with additional species-specific pathway databases hosted in the Gramene project, facilitates comparative pathway analysis. Conclusions: Here we describe the RiceCyc network development and discuss its contribution to rice genome annotations. As a case study to demonstrate the use of RiceCyc network as a discovery environment we carried out an integrated bioinformatic analysis of rice metabolic genes that are differentially regulated under diurnal photoperiod and biotic stress treatments. The analysis of publicly available rice transcriptome datasets led to the hypothesis that the complete tryptophan biosynthesis and its dependent metabolic pathways including serotonin biosynthesis are induced by taxonomically diverse pathogens while also being under diurnal regulation. The RiceCyc database is available online for free access at
  • Keywords: Oryza sativa, Metabolic network, Diurnal, Serotonin biosynthesis, Auxin biosynthesis, Tryptophan biosynthesis, Rice, RiceCyc, Gene regulation, Biotic stress
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  • Dharmawardhana, P., Ren, L., Amarasinghe, V., Monaco, M., Thomason, J., Ravenscroft, D., . . . Jaiswal, P. (2013). A genome scale metabolic network for rice and accompanying analysis of tryptophan, auxin and serotonin biosynthesis regulation under biotic stress. Rice, 6(1), 1-15. doi:10.1186/1939-8433-6-15
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  • 6
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  • 1
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  • This work was supported by the National Science Foundation of USA award # IOS:0703908 and 1127112. The funders had no role in the study design, data analysis, or preparation of the manuscript.
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