Useful Websites

SAT Electronic Library News Vol 7 No 3 Aug 2010

Descriptions of plant viruses
Descriptions of Plant Viruses (DPV) is a free resource providing information for students and researchers on viruses, viroids and satellites of plants, fungi and protozoa, and related animal viruses. It is maintained and developed by scientists at Rothamsted Research and supported by the Association of Applied Biologists (AAB) and the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, People's Republic of China. It includes: an illustrated introduction to viruses and their importance, transmission and classification; a searchable database of over 400 detailed descriptions of plant viruses or virus groups as published by the AAB; a searchable taxonomic database of each genus and family; and a list of accession numbers used by EMBL and Genbank databases for sequences of viruses, satellites and viroids infecting plants, fungi and protozoa, with links to sequence data hosted by the European Bioinformatics Institute website. The site also provides instructions on how to access a Sequence Feature Database developed by the authors using software downloadable from the site, information on purchasing a CD-ROM version of DPV and links to other virus websites.

This site consists of lists of links to environmental resources on the Internet. It is produced by the EnviroLink Network, a non-profit environmental information clearinghouse. Resources are arranged by broad subjects such as agriculture, climate change, energy, sustainable business and waste management with further subdivisions containing the resources. They can also be browsed under various categories including articles, government resources, jobs and volunteering, events, maps and educational resources. Each resource has two or three lines of description. In addition to being an information resource, EnviroLink provides environmental non-profit organisations with website hosting, automated mailing lists, interactive bulletin boards and email accounts.

Environmental Performance Index 2010
The 2010 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks 163 countries on 25 indicators tracked across ten established policy categories in environmental health and ecosystem vitality. The EPI identifies broadly-accepted targets for environmental performance and measures how close each country comes to these goals. As a quantitative gauge of pollution control and natural resource management results, the Index provides a powerful tool for improving policy making and shifting environmental decision making onto firmer analytic foundations. It also has a similar data-driven, fact-based empirical approach to environmental protection and global sustainability.

ExPASy proteomics server
The ExPASy (Expert Protein Analysis System) proteomics server of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB) is dedicated to the analysis of protein sequences and structures as well as 2-D PAGE. Aimed at molecular biology researchers, it allows the user to browse a number of databases produced in Geneva (Swiss-Prot, PROSITE, SWISS-2DPAGE, SWISS-3DIMAGE, ENZYME), as well as other cross-referenced databases (including EMBL/GenBank/DDBJ, OMIM, Medline, FlyBase, ProDom, SGD, SubtiList). It also allows access to many analytical tools for the identification of proteins, the analysis of their sequence and the prediction of their tertiary structure. ExPASy also offers many documents relevant to these fields of research and provides links to most relevant sources of information across the Web. Information on jobs, conferences and events is also provided. Made available on the Web by the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics.

A non-profit organisation founded in Oregon, USA in 1998, whose mission is to promote civic discourse about genetics through public education, engagement and consultation. The site includes a number of 'interactive scenarios' covering ethical issues of genetics, including genetic privacy, GM food, human cloning, and genetic databases. Background information is given on genetic privacy which includes Oregon State legislation and newspaper and journal articles. There are ethical decisions to be made in the 'interactive scenarios' as well as opinion polls, events listing and discussion forums on individual topics.

Issues in Biotechnology
Issues in Biotechnology is part of the website. This web page contains a collection of full-text articles in areas of biotechnology: Cloning, Genetically Modified Food/Crops, Medical Biotechnology, New Frontiers, Students Speak Out, and other articles posted under different menus. Each article contains 'learn more links', 'get involved links', 'article references' and some contain 'educational resources (indicated by a symbol). The site also contains links to the main website, its other topics and to a search facility.

The MIPS Arabidopsis thaliana database, MAtDB version 2.0, provides access to data of the Arabidopsis Genome Initiative. MAtDB aims to provide a comprehensive resource for Arabidopsis as a genome model that serves as a primary reference for research in plants and is suitable for transfer of knowledge to other plants, especially crops. The information provided, including mitochondrion and chloroplast data, is visualised on a genome-wide and a gene-by-gene basis. Users can search for genetic elements, or by locus, for clones and contigs and can download genome sequence data. MAtDB is compiled, analysed, annotated and stored at MIPS (Munich Information Center for Protein Sequences) by the MIPS Arabidopsis group.

PlantGDB is a project to develop plant species-specific EST and GSS databases, to provide web-accessible tools and inter-species query capabilities, and to provide genome browsing and annotation capabilities. PlantGDB allows the user to: access species-specific, nucleotide sequence for approximately 60,000 plant species and putative unique transcript assemblies (PUTs) for 100 plant species; explore gene space in 12 major crops and model plant species using custom genome browsers; and evaluate and document gene model evidence for favourite plant species using spliced alignment and annotation tools. For species with large-scale genome sequencing efforts, PlantGDB provides genome browsing capabilities that integrate all available EST and cDNA evidence for current gene models. PlantGDB is supported by the US National Science Foundation, and made available on the Web by the Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology, Iowa State University.

Plant Ontology Consortium
The Plant Ontology Consortium (POC) is a collaborative effort among model plant genome databases and plant researchers that aims to create, maintain and facilitate the use of a controlled vocabulary (ontology) for plants. The ontology allows users to ascribe attributes of plant structure (anatomy and morphology) and developmental stages to data types, such as genes and phenotypes, to provide a semantic framework to make meaningful cross-species and database comparisons. A list of participants and contributors is provided. The Plant Ontology Consortium is funded by the National Science Foundation.

SRS (Sequence Retrieval System) is a network browser for databanks in molecular biology, based at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) and offered by several other sites. It is a powerful search tool with links between numerous molecular biology databases. SRS allows several complex searches involving groups or single databases. Made available on the Web by the European Bioinformatics Institute.

World agriculture : towards 2015/2030 : an FAO perspective
Published on the Web by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2003, and written by FAO and EarthScan, this document assesses the prospects, worldwide, for food and agriculture, including fisheries and forestry, over the years to 2015 and 2030. Provided in 13 chapters, this report looks at the prospects for food and nutrition, prospects for aggregate agriculture and major commodity groups, crop production and natural resource use, livestock production, forestry, fisheries, agriculture in poverty alleviation and economic development, agricultural trade, trade policies and the global food system, globalisation in food and agriculture, issues in agricultural technology, agriculture and the environment, and climate change and agriculture. Appendices are also provided and each chapter is available to download individually, or can be downloaded as a whole.


International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
Patancheru 502 324, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Tel +91 40 30713071
Fax +91 40 30713074