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Open Access Open Badges Methodology article

An anatomy ontology to represent biological knowledge in Dictyostelium discoideum

Pascale Gaudet1*, Jeffery G Williams2, Petra Fey1 and Rex L Chisholm1

Author Affiliations

1 dictyBase, Northwestern University, Center for Genetic Medicine, 676 N. St. Clair, Chicago, IL, 60611, USA

2 School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dow Street, Dundee, DD1 5EH, UK

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BMC Genomics 2008, 9:130  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-130

Published: 18 March 2008



Dictyostelium discoideum is a model system for studying many important physiological processes including chemotaxis, phagocytosis, and signal transduction. The recent sequencing of the genome has revealed the presence of over 12,500 protein-coding genes. The model organism database dictyBase hosts the genome sequence as well as a large amount of manually curated information.


We present here an anatomy ontology for Dictyostelium based upon the life cycle of the organism.


Anatomy ontologies are necessary to annotate species-specific events such as phenotypes, and the Dictyostelium anatomy ontology provides an essential tool for curation of the Dictyostelium genome.