EMBnet.journal 17.A_14-15

Chinese EMBnet node: AGM2011 report

Jingchu1-Potrait.jpg

Jingchu Luo

Centre of Bioinformatics, Peking University, Beijing, China

It has been 15 years since we joined EMBnet, in 1996, as the national node of China. Great change has been seen in the past couple of years within our organisation. Several national and specialist nodes had to resign from EMBnet for various reasons. With support from several funding sources, we are trying our best to work hard in bioinformatics service, education and development. Our main funding sources are grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology, and Peking University special programs dedicated to hardware purchase. Our computing power has increased dramatically during the past three years.

We have been collaborating for years with EBI colleagues to make our FTP server the central repository for database downloading, and the official redistribution site for the EBI databases, including EMBL releases and the Bio-Mirror project. Owing to changes in the mirroring policy, we have had to stop running the ExPASy mirror. As reported previously, and described in the EMBnet Newsletter, we have been running an Applied Bioinformatics course[1] for graduate students from both Peking University and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences each semester. More than 200 students are taking the course currently.

We have updated the plant transcription factor (TF) database[2] to version 2.0, which contains predicted TFs from 49 species, classified into 59 families. Several other databases have been constructed or updated, including the leaf senescence database[3] and the
Arabidopsis hormone database[4]. We are working on a new interface for the Web-based bioinformatics platform WebLab[5], which is becoming a useful analysis platform. We have developed a rice genome browser[6], which was published in BMC genomics. The framework for a general genome browser is being developed, and will be freely available late this year. In addition to service and development, we are also undertaking research in several directions, including plant comparative genomics.

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