Article

A Chado case study: an ontology-based modular schema for representing genome-associated biological information.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Mail Stop 64R0121, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Bioinformatics (Impact Factor: 4.62). 08/2007; 23(13):i337-46. DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btm189
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A few years ago, FlyBase undertook to design a new database schema to store Drosophila data. It would fully integrate genomic sequence and annotation data with bibliographic, genetic, phenotypic and molecular data from the literature representing a distillation of the first 100 years of research on this major animal model system. In developing this new integrated schema, FlyBase also made a commitment to ensure that its design was generic, extensible and available as open source, so that it could be employed as the core schema of any model organism data repository, thereby avoiding redundant software development and potentially increasing interoperability. Our question was whether we could create a relational database schema that would be successfully reused.
Chado is a relational database schema now being used to manage biological knowledge for a wide variety of organisms, from human to pathogens, especially the classes of information that directly or indirectly can be associated with genome sequences or the primary RNA and protein products encoded by a genome. Biological databases that conform to this schema can interoperate with one another, and with application software from the Generic Model Organism Database (GMOD) toolkit. Chado is distinctive because its design is driven by ontologies. The use of ontologies (or controlled vocabularies) is ubiquitous across the schema, as they are used as a means of typing entities. The Chado schema is partitioned into integrated subschemas (modules), each encapsulating a different biological domain, and each described using representations in appropriate ontologies. To illustrate this methodology, we describe here the Chado modules used for describing genomic sequences.
GMOD is a collaboration of several model organism database groups, including FlyBase, to develop a set of open-source software for managing model organism data. The Chado schema is freely distributed under the terms of the Artistic License (http://www.opensource.org/licenses/artistic-license.php) from GMOD (www.gmod.org).

1 Follower
 · 
99 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The whole genome sequence of Coffea canephora, the perennial diploid species known as Robusta, has been recently released. In the context of the C. canephora genome sequencing project and to support post-genomics efforts, we developed the Coffee Genome Hub (http://coffee-genome.org/), an integrative genome information system that allows centralized access to genomics and genetics data and analysis tools to facilitate translational and applied research in coffee. We provide the complete genome sequence of C. canephora along with gene structure, gene product information, metabolism, gene families, transcriptomics, syntenic blocks, genetic markers and genetic maps. The hub relies on generic software (e.g. GMOD tools) for easy querying, visualizing and downloading research data. It includes a Genome Browser enhanced by a Community Annotation System, enabling the improvement of automatic gene annotation through an annotation editor. In addition, the hub aims at developing interoperability among other existing South Green tools managing coffee data (phylogenomics resources, SNPs) and/or supporting data analyses with the Galaxy workflow manager.
    Nucleic Acids Research 11/2014; DOI:10.1093/nar/gku1108 · 8.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We have identified about 20 million rice SNPs by aligning reads from the 3000 rice genomes project with the Nipponbare genome. The SNPs and allele information are organized into a SNP-Seek system (http://www.oryzasnp.org/iric-portal/), which consists of Oracle database having a total number of rows with SNP genotypes close to 60 billion (20 M SNPs × 3 K rice lines) and web interface for convenient querying. The database allows quick retrieving of SNP alleles for all varieties in a given genome region, finding different alleles from predefined varieties and querying basic passport and morphological phenotypic information about sequenced rice lines. SNPs can be visualized together with the gene structures in JBrowse genome browser. Evolutionary relationships between rice varieties can be explored using phylogenetic trees or multidimensional scaling plots. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.
    Nucleic Acids Research 11/2014; DOI:10.1093/nar/gku1039 · 8.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Plant phenotype datasets include many different types of data, formats, and terms from specialized vocabularies. Because these datasets were designed for different audiences, they frequently contain language and details tailored to investigators with different research objectives and backgrounds. Although phenotype comparisons across datasets have long been possible on a small scale, comprehensive queries and analyses that span a broad set of reference species, research disciplines, and knowledge domains continue to be severely limited by the absence of a common semantic framework. We developed a workflow to curate and standardize existing phenotype datasets for six plant species, encompassing both model species and crop plants with established genetic resources. Our effort focused on mutant phenotypes associated with genes of known sequence in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. (Arabidopsis), Zea mays L. subsp. mays (maize), Medicago truncatula Gaertn. (barrel medic or Medicago), Oryza sativa L. (rice), Glycine max (L.) Merr. (soybean), and Solanum lycopersicum L. (tomato). We applied the same ontologies, annotation standards, formats, and best practices across all six species, thereby ensuring that the shared dataset could be used for cross-species querying and semantic similarity analyses. Curated phenotypes were first converted into a common format using taxonomically broad ontologies such as the Plant Ontology, Gene Ontology, and Phenotype and Trait Ontology. We then compared ontology-based phenotypic descriptions with an existing classification system for plant phenotypes and evaluated our semantic similarity dataset for its ability to enhance predictions of gene families, protein functions, and shared metabolic pathways that underlie informative plant phenotypes. The use of ontologies, annotation standards, shared formats, and best practices for cross-taxon phenotype data analyses represents a novel approach to plant phenomics that enhances the utility of model genetic organisms and can be readily applied to species with fewer genetic resources and less well-characterized genomes. In addition, these tools should enhance future efforts to explore the relationships among phenotypic similarity, gene function, and sequence similarity in plants, and to make genotype-to-phenotype predictions relevant to plant biology, crop improvement, and potentially even human health.
    Plant Methods 02/2015; 11:10. DOI:10.1186/s13007-015-0053-y · 2.59 Impact Factor