International Conference on Biodiversity Informatics

arabidopsisI’m always interested in the range of tools available in bioinformatics.  I mean, I know why we have so many built around human and other model organisms.  But I love to hear about other types of projects around biology that need and use computational tools.  I’m kind of a fan of the underserved species.  In fact, I think there is so much room there for exciting applications and discoveries that it may actually be more interesting than some of the human navel-gazing stuff :)

So when I was looking around at the Agricultural Biodiversity Blog I came across the conference announcement for the International Conference on Biodiversity Informatics.  I’m intrigued. But I don’t see the metagenomics folks.  Huh.

Another thing I had come across on the Agro Biodiversity site was a plant pedigree.  I’ve recently become interested in that flood-tolerant rice project, and they were discussing the pedigree of that rice.  Plant pedigrees…cool.  We are just about to release a training on a pedigree tool and I have been thinking about the strengths and limitations of various tools (because that’s what we do, as Jennifer illustrates here) and I realized that plant pedigrees are a new wrinkle entirely.  The temporal difference in the parents–and even the possible species range of differences–really got me thinking.  But check out their pedigree for that rice (large image, reminds me of a Gene Ontology diagram).  Wicked neat.  Reminded me of my favorite diagram on mouse pedigrees.  The software for this comes from this project that I had stumbled upon separately: Generation Challenge Program.

So much to learn.

EDIT: as I was still percolating on this I remembered my dismay about the representations of synthetic organisms in phylogenies and databases.  I wonder what their pedigrees will look like….