What is biocuration?
Biocuration consists of review of the published literature or sets of data, leading to the identification and abstraction of key results. These results are then incorporated into a database in an organized manner, often using controlled vocabularies, and are associated with the appropriate genes or chromosomal regions.
As the volume of biological data continues to rise, biocuration is becoming increasingly important aspect of biomedical research. Biocurators worldwide have formed a professional society, the International Society for Biocuration, and meet regularly to exchange ideas and methods for improving the accuracy and efficiency of all types of biological data curation.
What kinds of data are curated at SGD?
SGD is the keeper of the reference genome sequence for the budding yeast S. cerevisiae. As part of this role, we are the source of the genome sequence for the S. cerevisiae S288C strain background as well as the catalog of genes and chromosomal features that are found in the genome.
In addition, a major role of SGD is biocuration of the yeast literature. SGD biocurators search the scientific literature for papers that are relevant to yeast; read the full text of those papers; and capture their major findings in various defined fields of the database - for example, Gene Ontology annotations, mutant phenotype annotations, genetic and physical interactions, or concise Gene Descriptions. SGD bioinformatics analysts specialize in processing sets of high-throughput data, such as chromatin structure or RNA polymerase occupancy, in order to map them onto the genome sequence and display them to facilitate direct comparison between the various studies.
If you are aware of a paper relevant to yeast that is missing from the SGD database, we would appreciate your letting us know about it (use the "contact SGD" link near the top of the page). Since our search of the literature relies on the presence of the keywords "yeast" or "cerevisiae" in the title or abstract of papers, including one or both of those words in your publications ensures that they will be incorporated into SGD in a timely fashion.
A summary of the number of chromosomal features and the function of gene products in the S. cerevisiae genome is presented on the Genome Snapshot page.