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Integrating phenotype ontologies across multiple species

Christopher J Mungall1*, Georgios V Gkoutos2, Cynthia L Smith3, Melissa A Haendel4, Suzanna E Lewis1 and Michael Ashburner2

Author Affiliations

1 Genome Dynamics Department, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

2 Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3EH, UK

3 The Jackson Laboratory, 600 Main Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA

4 Zebrafish Information Network, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-5291, USA

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Genome Biology 2010, 11:R2  doi:10.1186/gb-2010-11-1-r2

Published: 8 January 2010


Phenotype ontologies are typically constructed to serve the needs of a particular community, such as annotation of genotype-phenotype associations in mouse or human. Here we demonstrate how these ontologies can be improved through assignment of logical definitions using a core ontology of phenotypic qualities and multiple additional ontologies from the Open Biological Ontologies library. We also show how these logical definitions can be used for data integration when combined with a unified multi-species anatomy ontology.