Constraint-based probabilistic learning of metabolic pathways from tomato volatiles

Anand K. Gavai, Yury Tikunov, Remco Ursem, Arnaud Bovy, Fred van Eeuwijk, Harm Nijveen, Peter J.F. Lucas, Jack A.M. Leunissen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Clustering and correlation analysis techniques have become popular tools for the analysis of data produced by metabolomics experiments. The results obtained from these approaches provide an overview of the interactions between objects of interest. Often in these experiments, one is more interested in information about the nature of these relationships, e.g., cause-effect relationships, than in the actual strength of the interactions. Finding such relationships is of crucial importance as most biological processes can only be understood in this way. Bayesian networks allow representation of these cause-effect relationships among variables of interest in terms of whether and how they influence each other given that a third, possibly empty, group of variables is known. This technique also allows the incorporation of prior knowledge as established from the literature or from biologists. The representation as a directed graph of these relationship is highly intuitive and helps to understand these processes. This paper describes how constraint-based Bayesian networks can be applied to metabolomics data and can be used to uncover the important pathways which play a significant role in the ripening of fresh tomatoes. We also show here how this methods of reconstructing pathways is intuitive and performs better than classical techniques. Methods for learning Bayesian network models are powerful tools for the analysis of data of the magnitude as generated by metabolomics experiments. It allows one to model cause-effect relationships and helps in understanding the underlying processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-428
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Bayesian networks
  • Constraint-based learning
  • Metabolic pathways
  • Oxylipin pathway
  • Tomato volatiles
  • Urea/citric acid cycles


Dive into the research topics of 'Constraint-based probabilistic learning of metabolic pathways from tomato volatiles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this