(GEN) Maize ontology & interoperable ontologies

Vincent, Leszek Leszek at MISSOURI.EDU
Fri Feb 11 16:09:08 CET 2000

Dear subscribers to TDWG-SDD

On Jan. 31, 2000 I sent an email to you (copy below) about developing a
containment hierarchy for Maize & expanding this to include the rest of the
Poaceae and hopefully subsequently the rest of the monocots & dicots (via
interoperable ontologies).

I'm presenting some of this work at the next Maize Genetics Conference
(March) [http://www.agron.missouri.edu/Coop/Conf/2000.html] & include a copy
of the abstract below F.Y.I.

Conference abstract:

Developing systematic descriptors and containment hierarchies for maize

The Systematic Descriptors component of the Missouri Maize Project is aiming
to provide descriptors in appropriate 'containment hierarchies' (biological
terms, their relationships and associations) for maize. We wish to design a
structure that has wide contribution from scientists studying maize and many
other plant species. Databases comprising all sorts of information on
monocots and dicots will need to be increasingly interoperable to facilitate
future concurrent searches of these databases and so be helpful to a wide
range of end-users. Developing systematic descriptors in containment
hierarchies which accommodate maize data is a challenge on its own. But
developing a structure that can accommodate present and future data from
other monocot and dicot taxa, is another very relevant and stimulating
challenge. An overview has been developed and the framework is forming. We
are seeking feedback on the framework and content. NSF award 9872655.

For further info. on this project please access:
http://www.agron.missouri.edu/mnl/74/89vincent.html - a publication in the
Maize News Letter.

Should you have any comments, suggestions... about the development of
containment hierarchies for maize (in a formal ontology) and the subsequent
development of interoperable ontologies, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for your time.

- Leszek Vincent

Text of email of Jan. 31:

Dear subscribers to TDWG

I've been 'listening' to the contributions on Lexicons, XML etc. for a while
now and thought I should seek your comments because your contributions have
sparked several developments in my thinking. I'm wrestling with the
development of a hierarchy (containment hierarchies) of systematic
descriptors for corn/maize/ Zea mays for the Missouri Maize Project (see
URLs below). While this is challenging for maize/corn on its own, an added
challenge is my desire to develop containment hierarchies which are
compatible with databases for other grass crops e.g. rice (Oryza). To add to
the challenge I have the ideal of trying to accommodate the 'interests' of
similar databases for various DICOT crops e.g. soybean, cotton. While I do
appreciate that such an all encompassing approach is maybe impossible to
achieve I thought that it would still be good to get some other folks
opinions on this. Having some kind of 'generic' structure which accommodates
monocots & dicots should greatly facilitate the interoperability of these
databases. It's the interoperability scenario which really got me on to
thinking about this issue. Conducting simultaneous searches of dicot &
monocot databases for morphological data down to molecular (e.g. sequence)
data is not too far fetched. But I'm battling to find info. which
addresses/refers to such 'generic' standards.

I'd be grateful to have your thoughts on the above.

P. Leszek D. Vincent Ph.D., FLS
Plant Science Unit, Dept. of Agronomy, 209 Curtis Hall,
University of Missouri-Columbia, MO 65211-7020, USA.
Ph: (573) 884-3716 (Agronomy), (573) Fax:(573) 884-7850;
Ph/Fax (Home): (573) 441-1228; Email: Leszek at missouri.edu
Plant Systematist on the Missouri Maize Project - NSF award 9872655 -
(http://www.cafnr.missouri.edu/mmp/ and  http://www.agron.missouri.edu/)

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