In order to ensure sustainability and expansion of Arabidopsis informatics,
including through TAIR and other similar resources, members of the
international Arabidopsis community (led by the Multinational and North
American Arabidopsis Steering Committees) participated in two workshops this
past spring to identify needs, priorities, and areas for collaboration and
The workshops were initiated in response to reductions in funding for major
informatics resources, reductions which threatened to jeopardize the
long-term continued success of the entire Arabidopsis research community.
The primary action outcome of the workshops was to develop a new
international collaboration- the International Arabidopsis Informatics
Consortium (IAIC)- which will be community-led through a Steering Committee
and international Scientific Advisory Board.
Countries that support the IAIC will be represented on the Board, in
continuation of the long and notable tradition of international
collaboration in the Arabidopsis community.
The primary goals of the IAIC include:
1. to effectively manage the increasing amounts and types of Arabidopsis
data and facilitate access by the community
2. to leverage international resources, knowledge, and collaborations
3. to be dynamic and represent the evolving needs and capacities of the
community while reflecting the funding interests of the respective countries
The IAIC encompasses the entire Arabidopsis community and input is sought
from all interested members.
We are tentatively planning to hold a 'kick-off' open community workshop at
Plant and Animal Genome (PAG) in January, 2011, and (pending a current
request for funding), we anticipate holding annual open workshops at the
International Conference on Arabidopsis Research. The first workshop is
planned for ICAR 2011 (June 22-25, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA
The abstract of a commentary describing the workshops and outcomes,
published recently in The Plant Cell, can be found at:
In the interim, we encourage you to consult the IAIC webpage
(http://arabidopsis.org/portals/masc/IAIC.jsp) and we welcome input which
may be sent to the IAIC Steering Committee at:
arabidopsisinformatics from gmail.com. The Interim IAIC Director is Dr. Blake
Meyers (University of Delaware and elected member, North American
Arabidopsis Steering Committee).
With best regards,
Joanna Friesner, PhD