WormBase Is the major publicly available database of information related to Caenorhabditis elegans, an important organism for basic biomedical research, and other nematodes of medical and agricultural importance. Although a crucial daily resource for members of the C. elegans research field, our users extend to the larger parasitology, biomedical, and bioinformatics research communities. WormBase acts as a central forum through which every research group can contribute to the global effort to comprehend nematode genomes. Most users access WormBase via the Internet (www.wormbase.orq). While some install the database locally. WormBase offers extensive coverage of C. elegans core genomic, genetic, anatomical and functional information, allowing the biomedical community to fully utilize the results of intensive molecular genetic analyses and functional genomic studies of this organism in the study of human disease. These data include all available nematode genomic data (such as genome sequence, transcripts and cis-regulatory sites prioritized by species), large-scale functional genomic datasets, the function and interactions of genes and gene products as they relate to development, physiology and behavior, and biological reagents and their source information. WormBase comprises a set of databases storing a wide range of biological information;a website that allows users to access stored information and precomputed analyses based on these data;and tools for programmatic access such as an application programming interface, a data mining platform, and bulk downloads. Curation activities include extraction and integration of information from the literature (assisted by the use of information retrieval tools), incorporation of large-scale datasets from a range of research projects, and gene model verification from experimental data. We will curate hundreds of nematode genome sequences, annotations and core genetic information as well as data on gene function, pathways and transcriptional regulatory networks for C. elegans and select other species. We will expand tools available for data mining, workflow management, visualization, and community annotation, and integrate, store and distribute data in a maintainable, interoperable and scalable system. The project team involves three sites: Caltech primarily curates functional information;EBI carries out sequence-based curation and builds databases for public release;and OICR develops and supports the web presence and visualization. The three sites work closely together and share tasks to ensure timely incorporation, storage and display of information.

Public Health Relevance

Nematodes (roundworms) are major parasites of humans, livestock and crops, and understanding how to control them is a major world health and economic challenge. One species of nematode, C. elegans, is extensively used for basic biomedical research to elucidate how networks of genes affect cells, organs and a whole animal's development, physiology and behavior. WormBase collects, stores and displays information about the genomes and genes of C. elegans and other nematodes to facilitate research about this numerous and important group of animals.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Biotechnology Resource Cooperative Agreements (U41)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Ethical, Legal, Social Implications Review Committee (GNOM)
Program Officer
Bonazzi, Vivien
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
California Institute of Technology
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
Zip Code
Schwieterman, Alicia A; Steves, Alyse N; Yee, Vivian et al. (2016) The Caenorhabditis elegans Ephrin EFN-4 Functions Non-cell Autonomously with Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans to Promote Axon Outgrowth and Branching. Genetics 202:639-60
Druzinsky, Robert E; Balhoff, James P; Crompton, Alfred W et al. (2016) Muscle Logic: New Knowledge Resource for Anatomy Enables Comprehensive Searches of the Literature on the Feeding Muscles of Mammals. PLoS One 11:e0149102
Howe, Kevin L; Bolt, Bruce J; Cain, Scott et al. (2016) WormBase 2016: expanding to enable helminth genomic research. Nucleic Acids Res 44:D774-80
Buttigieg, Pier Luigi; Pafilis, Evangelos; Lewis, Suzanna E et al. (2016) The environment ontology in 2016: bridging domains with increased scope, semantic density, and interoperation. J Biomed Semantics 7:57
Tanimoto, Yuki; Zheng, Ying Grace; Fei, Xianfeng et al. (2016) In actio optophysiological analyses reveal functional diversification of dopaminergic neurons in the nematode C. elegans. Sci Rep 6:26297
Angeles-Albores, David; N Lee, Raymond Y; Chan, Juancarlos et al. (2016) Tissue enrichment analysis for C. elegans genomics. BMC Bioinformatics 17:366
Mao, Yuqing; Van Auken, Kimberly; Li, Donghui et al. (2014) Overview of the gene ontology task at BioCreative IV. Database (Oxford) 2014:
Huntley, Rachael P; Harris, Midori A; Alam-Faruque, Yasmin et al. (2014) A method for increasing expressivity of Gene Ontology annotations using a compositional approach. BMC Bioinformatics 15:155
Harris, Todd W; Baran, Joachim; Bieri, Tamberlyn et al. (2014) WormBase 2014: new views of curated biology. Nucleic Acids Res 42:D789-93
Chibucos, Marcus C; Mungall, Christopher J; Balakrishnan, Rama et al. (2014) Standardized description of scientific evidence using the Evidence Ontology (ECO). Database (Oxford) 2014:

Showing the most recent 10 out of 11 publications