|Matthews, Benjamin - Ben|
Submitted to: Biomed Central (BMC) Plant Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/2007
Publication Date: 1/30/2007
Citation: Alkharouf, N.W., Dhanaraj, A.L., Naik, D., Overall, C., Matthews, B.F., Rowland, L.J. 2007. Bbgd: an online database for blueberry genomic data.. Biomed Central (BMC) Plant Biology. 7:05. Interpretive Summary: Blueberry is a member of the Ericaceae family, which includes cranberry, rhododendron, azalea, and mountain laurel. Blueberry is a major berry crop in the United States, and one that has great nutritional and economical value. Extreme low temperatures during winter, however, reduce crop yield and cause major losses to U.S. farmers. A better understanding of blueberry genes and identification of genes that go up during exposure to cold are needed to produce blueberry cultivars with enhanced winter hardiness. To that end, we have developed and made publicly available the blueberry genomics database (BBGD). BBGD is a website that houses sequences of all of our blueberry genes and their expression data, that is, whether or not their expression goes up, down, or is unchanged by exposure to low temperature. The sequences and expression data are available in easy-to-use searchable formats. This website makes a wealth of general information on blueberry available to the general public and gene sequence and expression data available to scientists attempting to develop more cold hardy varieties of blueberry and related species.
Technical Abstract: Background: Blueberry is a member of the Ericaceae family, which also includes closely related cranberry and more distantly related rhododendron, azalea, and mountain laurel. Blueberry is a major berry crop in the United States, and one that has great nutritional and economical value. Extreme low temperatures, however, reduce crop yield and cause major losses to U.S. farmers. A better understanding of the genes and biochemical pathways that are up- or down-regulated during cold acclimation is needed to produce blueberry cultivars with enhanced cold hardiness. To that end, the blueberry genomics database (BBGD) was developed. Along with the analysis tools and web-based query interfaces, the database serves both the broader Ericaceae research community and the blueberry research community specifically by making available ESTs and gene expression data in searchable formats and in elucidating the underlying mechanisms of cold acclimation and freeze tolerance in blueberry. Description: BBGD is the world’s first database for blueberry genomics. BBGD is both a sequence and gene expression database. It stores both EST and microarray data and allows scientists to correlate expression profiles with gene function. BBGD is a public online database. Presently, the main focus of the database is the identification of genes in blueberry that are significantly induced or suppressed after low temperature exposure. Conclusion: By using the database, researchers have developed EST-based markers for mapping and have identified a number of “candidate” cold tolerance genes that seem to be highly expressed in blueberry flower buds after exposure to low temperatures.