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Dr. Altaf Amin

Tuesday, 13th March 2018 1:00 pm
Where: E2 - 310

Title: Classification of Plants based on Metabolite-Content Similarity


Secondary metabolites are bioactive substances of diverse chemical structures. Depending on their living under ecological environments, higher plants use different combinations of secondary metabolites for their survival e.g. defense to biological attacks by herbivores or pathogenic microbes. This suggests that similarity in metabolite content is applicable to the phylogenic similarity of higher plants. However, such a chemical taxonomy approach has limitations of incomplete metabolomics data. Here we report a new approach that successfully classifies 216 plants based on their known, incomplete metabolite content. Structurally similar metabolites have been clustered by using network clustering algorithm DPClus. Plants have been represented as binary vectors implying relations with structurally similar metabolite groups and classified by Ward's method of hierarchical clustering. Despite of incomplete data, the resulted plant clusters are consistent with the known evolutional relations of plants. This finding reveals significance of metabolite content as a taxonomic marker. Furthermore, we demonstrate the predictive power of metabolite contents in exploring nutritional and medicinal properties in plants. As a byproduct of our analysis we have predicted some currently unknown species-metabolite relations.


Md. Altaf-Ul-Amin received B.Sc. degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, M.Sc. degree in Electrical, Electronic and Systems Engineering from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and PhD degree from Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST), Japan. He received the best student paper award in the IEEE 10th Asian Test Symposium. Also, he received two other best paper awards as a co-author of journal articles.  He previously worked in several universities in Bangladesh, Malaysia and Japan. Currently he is working as an associate professor in Computational Systems Biology Lab of NAIST. He is conducting research on Network Biology, Systems Biology, Cheminformatics and Biological Databases. He published around 60 peer reviewed papers in international journals and conference proceedings. Current google scholar citation index of his publications is more than 4350.

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