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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Zea Mays Ontology-a Database of International Terms

Authors
item Vincent, P. Leszek - UNIV OF MISSOURI
item Coe Jr, Edward
item Schaeffer, Mary

Submitted to: Trends in Plant Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 11, 2003
Publication Date: November 1, 2003
Citation: VINCENT, P.D., COE JR, E.H., POLACCO, M.L. ZEA MAYS ONTOLOGY-A DATABASE OF INTERNATIONAL TERMS. TRENDS IN PLANT SCIENCE. 2003. V. 8(11). P. 517-520.

Interpretive Summary: The vocabulary of science, as in any subject of study, increasingly needs to be made computer-accessible. Knowledge in genetics and molecular biology, in particular, is burgeoning. Accordingly, consistent use of terms and identification of discrete vs. overlapping terms has become a goal of efforts termed ontologies. An ontology is a classification methodology for formalizing the knowledge of a subject with term relationships in a structured way. For example, one term may encompass another or be encompassed by another(an arm is an appendage; a leg is an appendage; bones are part of each, but specific bones are part of specific appendages, etc.). A hierarchical, specific vocabulary of internationally used and well-defined terms is provided for the structure of Zea mays (corn, maize), arranged to reflect known or putative biological relationships. Because it is open-source, and because synonyms and references are included, this ontology is adaptable and expandable to aid computational access to research and other literature for this crop. This work will benefit crop productivity and quality through scientific advances that derive from increased efficiency of communication within research endeavors, and will aid the public with access to and appreciation of ongoing scientific fronts.

Technical Abstract: An overview of the developing Zea mays Plant Structure Ontology database is provided. The ontology comprises internationally used and well-defined controlled vocabulary terms, arranged to reflect known or putative biological relationships. Synonyms and references are also provided. The ontology incorporates phylogenetic information, is produced via the Plant Ontology Consortium, and is open-source. The Plant Ontology consortium is expanding the paradigm of the Gene Ontology consortium.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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