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AraCyc: a biochemical pathway database for Arabidopsis.

Mueller LA, Zhang P, Rhee SY
Plant physiology


AraCyc is a database containing biochemical pathways of Arabidopsis, developed at The Arabidopsis Information Resource (http://www.arabidopsis.org). The aim of AraCyc is to represent Arabidopsis metabolism as completely as possible with a user-friendly Web-based interface. It presently features more than 170 pathways that include information on compounds, intermediates, cofactors, reactions, genes, proteins, and protein subcellular locations. The database uses Pathway Tools software, which allows the users to visualize a bird's eye view of all pathways in the database down to the individual chemical structures of the compounds. The database was built using Pathway Tools' Pathologic module with MetaCyc, a collection of pathways from more than 150 species, as a reference database. This initial build was manually refined and annotated. More than 20 plant-specific pathways, including carotenoid, brassinosteroid, and gibberellin biosyntheses have been added from the literature. A list of more than 40 plant pathways will be added in the coming months. The quality of the initial, automatic build of the database was compared with the manually improved version, and with EcoCyc, an Escherichia coli database using the same software system that has been manually annotated for many years. In addition, a Perl interface, PerlCyc, was developed that allows programmers to access Pathway Tools databases from the popular Perl language. AraCyc is available at the tools section of The Arabidopsis Information Resource Web site (http://www.arabidopsis.org/tools/aracyc).

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