Submitted to: Nucleic Acids Research
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/8/2007
Publication Date: 1/2/2008
Citation: Avraham, S., Tung, C., Jaiswal, P., Ilic, K., Kellogg, E., Mccouch, S., Pujar, A., Reiser, L., Rhee, S., Sachs, M.M., Schaeffer, M.L., Stein, L., Stevens, P., Vincent, L., Zapata, F., Ware, D. 2008. The Plant Ontology Database: A community resource for plant structure and developmental stages controlled vocabulary and annotations. Nucleic Acids Research. 36:D449-D454. Interpretive Summary: We present an update on the Plant Ontology Consortium (www.plantontology.org) project website. The Plant Ontology Consortium (POC) is a collaborative effort among model plant genome databases and plant researchers that aim to create, maintain, and facilitate the use of a controlled vocabulary (ontology) as descriptors for plants. The vocabulary allows users to ascribe attributes of plant structure (anatomy and morphology) and developmental stages to data types, such as genes and phenotypes, to provide a framework to allow meaningful cross-species comparisons. In addition to hosting the terms and their definitions, the project also provides access to associations to genes from arabidopsis, rice and maize. In the past two years the project has had significant updates in content, improvements in the views and website performance. The article communicates these improvements to the scientific community.
Technical Abstract: The Plant Ontology Consortium (POC, http://www.plantontology.org) is a collaborative effort among model plant genome databases and plant researchers that aim to create, maintain, and facilitate the use of a controlled vocabulary(ontology) for plants. The ontology allows users to ascribe attributes of plant structure (anatomy and morphology) and developmental stages to data types, such as genes and phenotypes, to provide a semantic framework to make meaningful cross-species and database comparisons. The POC builds upon groundbreaking work by the Gene Ontology Consortium (GOC) by adopting and extending the GOC’s principles, existing software and database structure. Over the past year, POC has added hundreds of ontology terms to associate with thousands of genes and gene products from Arabidopsis, rice and maize, which are available through a newly updated web-based browser (http://www.plantontology.org/amigo/go.cgi) for viewing, searching and querying. The Consortium has also implemented new functionalities to facilitate the application of PO in genomic research and updated the website to keep the contents current. In this report, we present a brief description of resources available from the website, changes to the interfaces, data updates, community activities and future enhancement.