About the Plant Ontology project

Plant Ontology project is a major international bioinformatics effort on standardizing the nomenclature, definitions, synonyms and relations of various terms/keywords/vocabularies that describe anatomical entities as well as the growth and developmental stages of plants. This collaborative project involves team members and projects with expertise on plant functional and comparative genomics, genetics, systematics, anatomy, developmental biology, computational biology, ontology development, etc.

The vocabularies (ontologies) developed by the project are not just simple glossary terms. They are organized in a network of connected terms defied by their known biologically correct relationships such as is_a (instance/type), part_of, develops_from, has_part, etc.

By developing the standardized vocabularies and their integration in the annotation of various data sets such as the annotation of plant part and its developmental stage that was used for analyzing the transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, phenotype and gene-gene interaction data sets. The successful integration facilitates users to perform queries on one or more data sets within a database or even between multiple remote database resources. e.g. Users can ask questions like, Find genes that are expressed in a leaf (vascular leaf) of a rice and tomato plant as well as those expressed in the leaf (non-vascular leaf) of moss. or What phenotypes and expressed genes are common to flower development in both Arabidopsis and maize?

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