The goal of this project is to develop a database, based on the software and schema used for the Saccharomyces and Candida Genome Databases, for the Aspergilli, wherein there will be data curated from the literature connected to specific genes. In curating the literature, we will record gene names and aliases, Gene Ontology annotations, and mutant phenotypes, as well as provide tools and interfaces for exploring the genome and its annotations. In addition, we will further develop and refine a robust, state-of-the-art genome annotation pipeline, and use this to perform primary genome annotation on each of the Aspergilli. This pipeline will take advantage of comparative genomic data between the Aspergilli, and will be re-run periodically, either when new data come to light (such as additional genomes), or when improved algorithms are incorporated into the pipeline. Thus, we will provide to the Aspergillus research community high quality literature based curation, coupled with the best possible primary annotation of each of the genomes. In this way, as has been done in other organism research communities, we will help to accelerate research into the Aspergilli, by enabling researchers to easily access relevant annotation information. This is particularly important, as the Aspergilli contain both the opportunistic pathogen, A. fumigaus, as well as the model genetic organism, A. nidulans, and enabling research into these organism will have a positive impact on human health.

Public Health Relevance

Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic pathogen found throughout the world and primarily infects neutropenic animal hosts;it is the most common cause of invasive mold infections in humans and the cause of significant morbidity and mortality. Invasive disease caused by A. fumigatus has a high mortality rate in the absence of antifungal drug therapy;even with treatment, mortality still remains at least 50%. Successful completion of this project, to provide a curated Aspergillus database, will likely accelerate Aspergillus research, and in doing so will aid in the fight against A. fumigatus infections, and thus significantly positively impact human health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Project (R01)
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Genomics, Computational Biology and Technology Study Section (GCAT)
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Duncan, Rory A
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Stanford University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Oakley, C Elizabeth; Ahuja, Manmeet; Sun, Wei-Wen et al. (2017) Discovery of McrA, a master regulator of Aspergillus secondary metabolism. Mol Microbiol 103:347-365
Cerqueira, Gustavo C; Arnaud, Martha B; Inglis, Diane O et al. (2014) The Aspergillus Genome Database: multispecies curation and incorporation of RNA-Seq data to improve structural gene annotations. Nucleic Acids Res 42:D705-10
Inglis, Diane O; Binkley, Jonathan; Skrzypek, Marek S et al. (2013) Comprehensive annotation of secondary metabolite biosynthetic genes and gene clusters of Aspergillus nidulans, A. fumigatus, A. niger and A. oryzae. BMC Microbiol 13:91
Arnaud, Martha B; Cerqueira, Gustavo C; Inglis, Diane O et al. (2012) The Aspergillus Genome Database (AspGD): recent developments in comprehensive multispecies curation, comparative genomics and community resources. Nucleic Acids Res 40:D653-9
Nitsche, Benjamin M; Crabtree, Jonathan; Cerqueira, Gustavo C et al. (2011) New resources for functional analysis of omics data for the genus Aspergillus. BMC Genomics 12:486
Arnaud, Martha B; Chibucos, Marcus C; Costanzo, Maria C et al. (2010) The Aspergillus Genome Database, a curated comparative genomics resource for gene, protein and sequence information for the Aspergillus research community. Nucleic Acids Res 38:D420-7