SolCyc: a database hub at the Sol Genomics Network (SGN) for the manual curation of metabolic networks in Solanum and Nicotiana specific databases


Authored by  H Foerster*, A Bombarely*, JND Battey, N Sierro, NV Ivanov, LA Mueller*

Published in Database: The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation     2018
* This author is not affiliated with PMI.
ABSTRACT

SolCyc is the entry portal to pathway/genome databases (PGDBs) for major species of the Solanaceae family hosted at the Sol Genomics Network. Currently, SolCyc comprises six organism-specific PGDBs for tomato, potato, pepper, petunia, tobacco and one Rubiaceae, coffee. The metabolic networks of those PGDBs have been computationally predicted by the pathologic component of the pathway tools software using the manually curated multi-domain database MetaCyc (http://www.metacyc.org/) as reference. SolCyc has been recently extended by taxon-specific databases, i.e. the family-specific SolanaCyc database, containing only curated data pertinent to species of the nightshade family, and NicotianaCyc, a genus-specific database that stores all relevant metabolic data of the Nicotiana genus. Through manual curation of the published literature, new metabolic pathways have been created in those databases, which are complemented by the continuously updated, relevant species-specific pathways from MetaCyc. At present, SolanaCyc comprises 199 pathways and 29 superpathways and NicotianaCyc accounts for 72 pathways and 13 superpathways. Curator-maintained, taxon-specific databases such as SolanaCyc and NicotianaCyc are characterized by an enrichment of data specific to these taxa and free of falsely predicted pathways. Both databases have been used to update recently created Nicotiana-specific databases for Nicotiana tabacum, Nicotiana benthamiana, Nicotiana sylvestris and Nicotiana tomentosiformis by propagating verifiable data into those PGDBs. In addition, in-depth curation of the pathways in N.tabacum has been carried out which resulted in the elimination of 156 pathways from the 569 pathways predicted by pathway tools. Together, in-depth curation of the predicted pathway network and the supplementation with curated data from taxon-specific databases has substantially improved the curation status of the species–specific N.tabacumPGDB. The implementation of this strategy will significantly advance the curation status of all organism-specific databases in SolCyc resulting in the improvement on database accuracy, data analysis and visualization of biochemical networks in those species.