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Open Access Database

BBGD: an online database for blueberry genomic data

Nadim W Alkharouf1*, Anik L Dhanaraj2, Dhananjay Naik2, Chris Overall34, Benjamin F Matthews3 and Lisa J Rowland2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of computer and information sciences, Towson University, 7800 York Road, Towson, Maryland, 21252, USA

2 Fruit Laboratory, USDA/ARS, Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Bldg. 010A, BARC-West, 10300 Baltimore Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705, USA

3 Soybean Genomics and Improvement Laboratory, USDA/ARS, Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Bldg. 010A, BARC-West, 10300 Baltimore Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705, USA

4 George Mason University, School of Computational Sciences, Manassas, VA 20110, USA

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BMC Plant Biology 2007, 7:5  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-7-5

Published: 30 January 2007

Abstract

Background

Blueberry is a member of the Ericaceae family, which also includes closely related cranberry and more distantly related rhododendron, azalea, and mountain laurel. Blueberry is a major berry crop in the United States, and one that has great nutritional and economical value. Extreme low temperatures, however, reduce crop yield and cause major losses to US farmers. A better understanding of the genes and biochemical pathways that are up- or down-regulated during cold acclimation is needed to produce blueberry cultivars with enhanced cold hardiness. To that end, the blueberry genomics database (BBDG) was developed. Along with the analysis tools and web-based query interfaces, the database serves both the broader Ericaceae research community and the blueberry research community specifically by making available ESTs and gene expression data in searchable formats and in elucidating the underlying mechanisms of cold acclimation and freeze tolerance in blueberry.

Description

BBGD is the world's first database for blueberry genomics. BBGD is both a sequence and gene expression database. It stores both EST and microarray data and allows scientists to correlate expression profiles with gene function. BBGD is a public online database. Presently, the main focus of the database is the identification of genes in blueberry that are significantly induced or suppressed after low temperature exposure.

Conclusion

By using the database, researchers have developed EST-based markers for mapping and have identified a number of "candidate" cold tolerance genes that are highly expressed in blueberry flower buds after exposure to low temperatures.