Male reproduction is an essential biological event in the plant life cycle separating the diploid sporophyte and haploid gametophyte generations, which involves expression of approximately 20,000 genes. The control of male reproduction is also of economic importance for plant breeding and hybrid seed production. With the advent of forward and reverse genetics and genomic technologies, a large number of male reproduction-related genes have been identified. Thus it is extremely challenging for individual researchers to systematically collect, and continually update, all the available information on genes and mutants related to plant male reproduction. The aim of this study is to manually curate such gene and mutant information and provide a web-accessible resource to facilitate the effective study of plant male reproduction.
Plant Male Reproduction Database (PMRD) is a comprehensive resource for browsing and retrieving knowledge on genes and mutants related to plant male reproduction. It is based upon literature and biological databases and includes 506 male sterile genes and 484 mutants with defects of male reproduction from a variety of plant species. Based on Gene Ontology (GO) annotations and literature, information relating to a further 3697 male reproduction related genes were systematically collected and included, and using in text curation, gene expression and phenotypic information were captured from the literature. PMRD provides a web interface which allows users to easily access the curated annotations and genomic information, including full names, symbols, locations, sequences, expression patterns, functions of genes, mutant phenotypes, male sterile categories, and corresponding publications. PMRD also provides mini tools to search and browse expression patterns of genes in microarray datasets, run BLAST searches, convert gene ID and generate gene networks. In addition, a Mediawiki engine and a forum have been integrated within the database, allowing users to share their knowledge, make comments and discuss topics.
PMRD provides an integrated link between genetic studies and the rapidly growing genomic information. As such this database provides a global view of plant male reproduction and thus aids advances in this important area.