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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Crop Improvement and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #320730

Title: GrainGenes: Changing Times, Changing Databases, Digital Evolution.

item Tobias, Christian
item Lazo, Gerard
item Gu, Yong
item Matthews, David

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2015
Publication Date: 11/15/2015
Publication URL:
Citation: Tobias, C.M., Lazo, G.R., Gu, Y.Q., Matthews, D.E. 2015. GrainGenes: Changing Times, Changing Databases, Digital Evolution. Meeting Abstract.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The GrainGenes database is one of few agricultural databases that had an early start on the Internet and that has changed with the times. Initial goals were to collect a wide range of data relating to the developing maps and attributes of small grains crops, and to make them easily accessible. The digital evolution of GrainGenes started as early as the TCP/IP Gopher (MN) and has steadily adapted with the HTTP protocol web browsers of today. As a community effort, GrainGenes served some of the basic data and tool needs encountered in the development of our crop knowledge bases. Data structure has evolved from the early flat-file formats to the classic relational databases, and has taken advantage of improvements to the user interface that have since developed. The growing collection of NoSQL, cloud, and hybrid databases loom on the horizon as we move into our so-called 'Big Data' times using reference genomes as building blocks to identify crop diversity. User interface programming languages have varied among Perl, PHP, Java, and Javascript to name a few, and have helped refine the way in which we view data. The presentation software includes many hard-coded scripts, but is now moving toward more modular formats developed around content management systems, with theming viewable on a variety of desktops and portable devices. Changing with the times is challenging as newer, bigger, faster, and more dynamic tools become available. Technology continues to evolve to best provide data relevant to future researchers of our crops.