News Release No. 565.（Regular News Release） April 21, 2006.
Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine,
Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan.
Establishes Bioinformatics Resources and Databank for Animal and Plant Viruses was setup
by the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine
The Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, (BAPHIQ) said that it has supported National Chung-Hsing University to establish the Bioinformatics Resources and Databank for Animal and Plant Viruses”, which is open to whom work in related research institutes and academics in Taiwan with valid accounts. The database includes more than 5 million entries of nucleotide and amino acid sequences of animal and plant virus genomes collected locally in Taiwan or internationally from China and other countries. The database and bioinformatics resources shall be of enormous value in facilitating the works related to viral disease identification and diagnosis by providing basic molecular information of the viral pathogens and computational analysis tools .
BAPHIQ stated that the most important aspect in the control and management of viral diseases is prevention from the attack of the diseases, with emphasis on the exclusion of viral pathogens from abroad. Since Taiwan became a member of WTO, the imports of agricultural products have been increasing greatly, thus increasing the threats from the invasion of exotic viral pathogens from abroad. In order to strengthen the inspection and quarantine measures against exotic animal and plant viruses, BAPHIQ initiated the set up this database and bioinformatics resources to trace the infection routes, ranges of the spread, and the characteristics of disease developments of the viral pathogens.
BAPHIQ said that the database and bioinformatics resources began to provide services in March 2006. For those who are interested in this system, the database can be accessed through the web page of BAPHIQ at http://www.baphiq.gov.tw. The database provide the following functions: 1. Genomic information on viruses infecting animals and plants in Taiwan; 2. User interface for inquiries and analyses on nucleotide and amino acid sequences of viruses in the local database or through GenBank maintained by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI); 3. Genomic information on viruses of animals and plants collected internationally; 4. References related to viral disease researches in Taiwan and China; 5. Alerting/reporting system for new or emerging viruses; and 6. Analytical and educational bioinformatics resources. The database will provide substantial assistance in rapid interception of serious viral pathogens of animals and plants for the front line quarantine personnel. The Graduate Institute of Biotechnology, National Chung-Hsing University is currently commissioned by BAPHIQ to manage the database resources. Although most of the information are open to the public, certain sensitive information is still classified and can only be accessed by users with valid accounts and passwords. Potential users may apply for an account by contacting Dr. C. C. Hu at firstname.lastname@example.org, and the application is subjected to the approval of BAPHIQ.
BAPHIQ indicated that the establishment of this viral genome database and bioinformatics resources may provide assistance to the decision makers of the government in the monitoring of epidemics and tracing of infection routes, and exclusion or control of exotic viral pathogens. BAPHIQ will keep improving and updating the functions of the database, with specific focuses on the compilation of viral pathogen information from China, Southeast Asia, and the U.S, and on the increasing of speed for database inquiries and analyses. In addition, the user interface will be improved according to the comments of the users. The automation of database maintenance will be further upgraded. The database platform will also be applied to the related researches on genomics of animal and plant viruses. These futher improvements are expected to advance the effectiveness of the works on animal and plant health inspection and quarantine and to safeguard the agricultural import and export.
Correspondence: Dr. Chang, Hong-Yi, Secretary General
Telephone: 02-23431461 0935-740263