The genetics of flowering: a new database
The database developed by the Laboratory of Plant Physiology at the University of Liège is not only an educational tool, but also a valuable resource for researchers, in a field where knowledge is growing exponentially. It is comprised of fully ‘clickable’ snapshots allowing users to access the underlying information. On the website, they can also find all the references of the scientific articles (currently 1646!) that have contributed to this data, with direct links to the publications.
1646 articles in just a few clicks
Over the years, knowledge in the genetics of flowering has grown exponentially thanks to this key model. “For people who are starting out in this field, the subject has become very difficult to deal with. Researchers write reviews several times a year. We also use an increasing number of schemes – known as snapshots – to better visualise this mass of data and keep an overview”, explains Professor Claire Périlleux. Confronted with this information management problem while doing his PhD at the Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Frédéric Bouché, who is also passionate about IT and graphics, set up his own database. “We realised that what he was doing could be very useful, not only for the researchers of the laboratory who didn’t necessarily find it easy to manage and represent the literature, but also for the rest of the scientific community”, continues Claire Périlleux. Frédéric Bouché then met Guillaume Lobet, an FNRS postdoctoral researcher, who was also passionate about new technologies. Together they decided to transform this database into a website called the ‘Flowering Interactive Database’ [FLOR-ID]. “This database contains approximately 1646 scientific articles. The interactive format allows the information to be easily accessed.”
(1) FLOR-ID: an interactive database of flowering-time gene networks in Arabidopsis thaliana, in Nucleic Acids Research.