The Mouse Genome Informatics (MGI; http://www.informatics.jax.org/) database integrates genetic and genomic data with the primary mission of facilitating the use of the mouse as a model system for understanding human biology and disease processes. MGI is the authoritative source of official mouse genetic nomenclature, gene ontology annotations, mammalian phenotype annotations, and mouse anatomy terms. MGI staff enforce the use of standardized genetic nomenclature, ontologies, and controlled vocabularies to describe mouse sequence data, genes, strains, expression data, alleles, and phenotypes. Extensive links between gene-centric information in MGI and other informatics resources (e.g., OMIM, Ensembl, UCSC, NCBI, UniProt) are maintained and updated on a regular basis.
Using the Web-based query interfaces for MGI, users can query for a mouse gene or genes according to diverse biological attributes of those genes, including phenotype associations, gene expression, functional annotation, and genome location. The MGI MouseBLAST server allows users to interrogate the MGI database using nucleotide and/or protein sequences. Functional and phenotypic data from MGI can be viewed in a broader genomic context using an interactive genome browser called Mouse GBrowse. The power of the MGI database as a research tool for biomedicine stems from the degree to which data from diverse sources are integrated. Integration, in turn, allows the data to be evaluated in new contexts. For example, integration makes possible such complex queries as “Find all genes from Chromosome 1 where the function is annotated as transcription factor and there is a knockout allele that results in eye dysmorphology.”