The Plant Ontology (PO) is a unique and effective tool to bridge communities that emphasize their research in different disciplines such as genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, taxonomy, botany, and genomics.
Basically, we are developing a set of controlled vocabulary terms describing anatomical, and morphological structures and developmental stages of both angiosperms and non-flowering plants (gymnosperms, ferns and mosses). These terminologies are applied for annotating the spatial and temporal aspects of gene expression and observed phenotypes of mutants, natural variants and associated quantitative trait loci.
The annotations are being carried out in collaboration with the participating plant databases and large repositories of molecular sequence datasets and seed stocks. We are mapping the ontology terms developed in this project to similar vocabularies developed and used in annotation by various national and international projects working on plant genomics and phenotyping of germplasm seed stocks.
The Plant Ontology (PO) developed in this project will serve as a common reference point, allowing comparative analysis of these datasets. Additionally, each term is being illustrated, and Dr. Gandolfo and her team are working on photographing hundreds of anatomical and embryological slides that are part of the Cornell University Plant Anatomy Collection (CUPAC) that represent the ontology terms. These photographs will be accessible through the PO and Plantsystematics.org. Although the PO terms are in English, we are also developing Spanish and Japanese versions.
This project is funded by a National Science Foundation grant 0822201.