PlaNet aims to develop and deliver a high level plant
genome database for the systematic exploration of Arabidopsis and
other plants. The completion of Arabidopsis' 120 million base pair
genome in late 2000 marked a milestone in genome based biology.
A network of European scientists significantly contributed to this
success by completing chromosomes III, IV and V (ESSA, funded by
the European Commission). In addition to the sequencing efforts,
about half of the genome has been annotated in Europe.
The information on plant genes is of the utmost importance
for the future development of agricultural and environmental research.
Since the information resulting from experiments and bioinformatic
interpretation is highly complex, the compilation of information
resources requires dynamic information acquisition, expert curation
and the integration of bioinformatic methods. One option to build
comprehensive database infrastructure resources would be the installation
of a centralised facility. However, such a proposal would suffer
not only from the need for long-term commitment, but also from the
difficulty of attracting a critical mass of the much sought after
bioinformaticians. As an alternative, PlaNet is a distributed, shared
effort among both experienced bioinformatics groups and plant molecular
biologists to establish a comprehensive integrated database in a