ForestTreeDB: a database dedicated to the mining of tree transcriptomes.
Pavy N., Johnson JJ., Crow JA., Paule C., Kunau T., MacKay J., Retzel EF.
ForestTreeDB is intended as a resource that centralizes large-scale expressed sequence tag (EST) sequencing results from several tree species (http://foresttree.org/ftdb). It currently encompasses 344,878 quality sequences from 68 libraries, from diverse organs of conifer and hybrid poplar trees. It utilizes the Nimbus data model to provide a hosting system for multiple projects, and uses object-relational mapping APIs in Java and Perl for data accesses within an Oracle database designed to be scalable, maintainable and extendable. Transcriptome builds or unigene sets occupy the focal point of the system. Several of the five current species-specific unigenes were used to design microarrays and SNP resources. The ForestTreeDB web application provides the means for multiple combination database queries. It presents the user with a list of discrete queries to retrieve and download large EST datasets or sequences from precompiled unigene assemblies. Functional annotation assignment is not trivial in conifers which are distantly related to angiosperm model plants. Optimal annotations are achieved through database queries that integrate results from several procedures based open-source tools. ForestTreeDB aims to facilitate sequence mining of coherent annotations in multiple species to support comparative genomic approaches. We plan to continuously enrich ForestTreeDB with other resources through collaborations with other genomic projects.