Genome-wide studies are uniquely powerful to detect genetic networks and interactions, and to identify novel putative immunity genes and pathways. They provide a snapshot of all genes with changed expression at a specific time point in an infected sample when compared to an appropriate control, without the need for a priori assumptions or knowledge. Using mutants can aid in the dissection of signalling pathways. Moreover, time-course experiments in particular can provide very useful new insights in the variety of genes that are associated with the immune responses and their sequence of action, providing an overview of the direct effects and (potentially costly) side effects of immune challenge on genes and pathways.
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