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NSF Funds Development of Common Reference Ontologies and Applications for Plant Biology

The Plant Genome Research Program (National Science Foundation) recently awarded funding for three years to The Planteome Project (, an international collaboration to support the development of “Common Reference Ontologies and Applications for Plant Biology”.

The goals of the Planteome Project are to provide researchers and agricultural breeding programs a common semantic framework ,and a focused set of comparative analysis tools to leverage the scientific value of the ever-expanding array of sequenced plant genomes and phenotype data. The Planteome Project will develop a set of common data standards and universal reference vocabularies to describe plant biology and plant stresses, and standardized plant gene and phenotype annotation workflows.
As part of the project’s outreach effort the project team will reach out to K-12 and undergraduate students and the plant research community. The project will conduct annual hands-on STEM summer camps to teach high school students about plant genomics and computational biology and will organize exhibits at the New York Botanical Garden, as well as hosting workshops and webinars, and producing publications for plant scientists.
The Planteome Project database and data resources are freely accessible online under the Creative Commons License, and are available from the project website

The Planteome Project:
Link to NSF award abstract:

Principle Investigator:
Pankaj Jaiswal, Associate Professor, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University (OSU:
Dennis Stevenson, New York Botanical Garden (
Chris Mungall Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (
Elizabeth Arnaud, Bioversity International, France (a CGIAR Institute)
Sinisa Todorovic, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), OSU
Eugene Zhang, EECS, OSU
Senior Collaborators:
Georgios Gkoutos, Aberystwyth University, UK,
John Doonan, Director National Plant Phenomics Centre, Aberystwyth University, UK,
Consultant: Barry Smith, National Center for Ontological Research, and University of Buffalo, NY, Founding member of the OBO Foundry Initiative (