miRFANs: an integrated database for Arabidopsis thaliana microRNA function annotations
1 Research Lab of Information Management, Changzhou University, Jiangsu, China
2 School of Computer Science, Fudan university, Shanghai, China
3 Department of Computer Science & Technology, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
4 Shanghai Key Lab of Intelligent Information Processing, Fudan University, Shanghai
5 School of Information Science and Technology, Hainan University, Hainan, China
BMC Plant Biology 2012, 12:68 doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-68Published: 14 May 2012
Plant microRNAs (miRNAs) have been revealed to play important roles in developmental control, hormone secretion, cell differentiation and proliferation, and response to environmental stresses. However, our knowledge about the regulatory mechanisms and functions of miRNAs remains very limited. The main difficulties lie in two aspects. On one hand, the number of experimentally validated miRNA targets is very limited and the predicted targets often include many false positives, which constrains us to reveal the functions of miRNAs. On the other hand, the regulation of miRNAs is known to be spatio-temporally specific, which increases the difficulty for us to understand the regulatory mechanisms of miRNAs.
In this paper we present miRFANs, an online database for Arabidopsis thaliana
First, a comprehensive collection of miRNA targets for Arabidopsis thaliana provides valuable information about the functions of plant miRNAs. Second, a highly informative miRNA-mediated genetic regulatory network is extracted from our integrative database. Third, a set of statistical and mining tools is equipped for analyzing and mining the database. And fourth, a user-friendly web interface is developed to facilitate the browsing and analysis of the collected data.