Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/20/2008
Publication Date: 5/10/2009
Citation: Matthews, D.E., Lazo, G.R., Anderson, O.D. 2009. Plant and Crop Databases. In: Somers, D.J., Langridge, P., and Gustafson, J.P., editors. Plant Genomics: Methods and Protocols. New York, NY: Humana Press. P. 243-262.
Interpretive Summary: Modern plant research and the future of crop maintenance and improvement are being ever more tied to the ability to access databases. This is especially critical in current circumstances where a flood of genomics data is simultaneously providing more information that in the past about the genomes of plants, but also complicating accessing and evaluating this data. In addition, projections are that as plant breeding takes more advantage of this new data there will be increased demands for database complexity and accessibility at all levels of crop production. This chapter briefly reviews the history of Internet-accessible databases, summarizes some of the more important plant databases, and gives examples of the types of data available and how to access this data.
Technical Abstract: Databases have become an integral part of all aspects of biological research, including basic and applied plant biology. The importance of databases continues to increase as the volume of data from direct and indirect genomics approaches expands. What is not always obvious to users of databases is the range of available database resources, their access points, or some basic elements of database querying. This chapter briefly summarizes the history of data access via the Internet and reviews some basic terms and considerations in dealing with plant and crop databases. The reader is directed to some of the major publicly available Internet-accessible relevant databases with summaries of the major focuses of those databases, and several examples are given to illustrate how to access plant genomics data. Finally, an outline is given of some of the issues facing the future of plant and crop databases.