By using recently developed gene editing tools like CRISPR/Cas, plant scientists have been enabled to figure out the functions of so many plant genes. While these studies could eventually lead to the creation of crops with improved traits, researchers first need a good way to keep track of the increasingly large amounts of resulting data.
To meet this need, researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute have developed the Plant Genome Editing Database (PGED) to be a central repository for efficiently managing plant mutant data, as well as to provide a platform for sharing the data and mutants with the research community.
The ultimate hope is that PGED will lead to more efficient use of resources by reducing unnecessary duplicate experiments and catalyzing collaborations among research institutions. To help spread the word about the database's creation, the researchers recently published a call for data submission to PGED in the journal Molecular Plant.
"We've used CRISPR/Cas to make more than 430 different lines, and that's just in tomato. The main problem initially was how to keep track of them all, so that was the primary motivation behind the creation of the database," according to BTI's Greg Martin, who was the co-corresponding author along with BTI's Zhangjun Fei. "Many plant biology labs are doing CRISPR/Cas research these days, and everyone is going to face this problem.”