Horsegene database: an efficient and secure way to store and share phenotypes and genotypes between researchers

B.D. Velie, M. Shrestha, A. Schurink, B.J. Ducro, N. Buys, G. lindgren

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic


Using reliable state-of-the-art genomic technologies to identify genetic markers for heritable diseases in harses, the Horsegene co.nsortium, comprised of both research institutions and industry partners, aimed to provide a genetic alternative to traditional breeding methods. Funded by the EU's Seventh Framework Programme, this collaboration brought together the efforts of multiple European research groups that had been werking independently on the
genetics of disease susceptibility in harses for many years. As a result, a database capable of securely and efficiently storing phenotypic and genotypic information for harses was developed in order to better facilitate the sharing of information between researcher partners. Here we describe the Horsegene Database functionality and comment on its value and potential application outside of the Horsegene consortium. The database is capable of housing unlimited pedigree and phenotype data as well as genotype data from multiple array platforms. Uploading to the database requires a researcher to be a registered user and although the database requires files to be in a specific format, file alteration is minimal and a file format guide is provided. Once uploaded, the majority of data is not viewable or downloadable to anyone except these responsible for m~intaining the functionality of the database. However, genera! information (animal ids changed to prevent identification of any
individual) can be viewed via the Horsegene Database web interface. The web interface displays information on breed, birthdate, disease phenotype(s) (e.g.
OC=unaffected; IBH=affected; CPL=unaffected), and the genotyping platforms available for each individual. In addition, information on the principal investigator (PI) and institution associated with each animal is provided. This information can then be used to search for individuals expressing a specific disease, certain breeds, or individuals with genotypes from a specific array platform. Registered users then have the option to tick boxes for any individual
or group of individuals in which they would like to request data. The web interface then automatically sends an email request to the Pl(s) .associated with those individuals and the Pl(s) has the option to grant or deny the request. lf granted, the registered user receives an email that contains information on their time-restricted download access of information corresponding only the individuals they requested . The security and simplicity of the Horsegene Database is an ideal way for institutions both within and outside the Horsegene consortium to collaborate and share data in the future. Adoption of the Horsegene Database by research institutions from outside the Horsegene
consortium would not only make collaborations between institutions more probable, but it is also likely to increase the power of heritable disease studies in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015
Event11th International Equine Gene Mapping Workshop - Hannover, Germany
Duration: 22 Jul 201525 Jul 2015


Conference11th International Equine Gene Mapping Workshop


  • phenotypes
  • genotypes
  • horsegene database


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