Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 27, 2013
Publication Date: April 29, 2013
Citation: Lawrence, C.J. 2013. MaizeGDB: Global support for maize research through open access information [abstract]. In: G8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture, Washington, D.C., Apr. 29-30, 2013. p. 1. Technical Abstract: MaizeGDB is the open-access global repository for maize genetic and genomic information – from single genes that determine nutritional quality to whole genome-scale data for complex traits including yield and drought tolerance. The data and tools at MaizeGDB enable researchers from Ethiopia to Ghana to Tanzania to intelligently select germplasm for use in accelerating improvements in yield, disease resistance, and adaptation to climate change. "New Users" at MaizeGDB make up roughly one-fourth of site traffic, with sub-Saharan Africa foremost among that group. The freely-available data, knowledge, and tools served by MaizeGDB enable researchers anywhere to enhance crop improvement. MaizeGDB addresses the data access and analysis needs of researchers by developing and deploying data analysis methods, tools, and portals that simplify how researchers interact with biologically meaningful information. In so doing, the MaizeGDB project has become a model for how to meet the needs of basic, translational, and applied researchers. Development of MaizeGDB and other agronomically important databases that embody a sequence-aware and genomics-centric paradigm transforms how researchers interact with information and forms the groundwork for the creation of systems that enable researchers to retrieve distributed data and access heterogeneous datasets from a single website to allow access to data irrespective of where data are physically located. Enabling broad access to data via such systems has the potential to shift the bottleneck for crop improvement from inability to access relevant information to a world where research is limited only by human creativity, which is boundless.