In 2010, two workshops were held in response to growing recognition by the Arabidopsis community and funding agencies that the current model for supporting and organization of Arabidopsis data and resources is unsustainable and that there is a need for a single data management infrastructure. Moving ahead with a workshop recommendation, to establish the International Arabidopsis Informatics Consortium (IAIC), participant Blake Meyers submitted a Research Coordination Network (RCN) proposal to the U.S. National Science Foundation. The (now funded) RCN award allows international community members to meet and discuss the current and future bioinformatics needs of the Arabidopsis community as well as other science communities that depend vitally on Arabidopsis resources. The award will also facilitate important cross-disciplinary interactions with computer scientists and cyberinfrastructure experts whose knowledge and skills are required to develop the data management infrastructure envisioned during the community workshops.

Meyers, the RCN’s four US-based co-PIs, and several other international community members and experts make up the IAIC Steering Committee (SC). The SC, corresponding since June, 2010, are helping to guide the IAIC by (1) organizing a ‘Design Workshop’ involving experimental biologists and computation experts to plan for the future Arabidopsis Information Portal (AIP), (2) developing Working Groups (WG), small focused teams that will address specific issues relevant to the IAIC, (3) establishing the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) through consultation with the Multinational Arabidopsis Steering Committee (MASC), and (4) reaching out to the community through public workshops, website presence, and email correspondence to provide information and receive input on the Consortium and its efforts.

Current Steering Committee Members

Blake Meyers (Interim IAIC Director)
University of Delaware, USA
  Ruth Bastow
  James Beynon
Warwick University, UK
  Volker Brendel
University of Indiana- Bloomington, USA
  Rion Dooley
University of Texas-Austin, USA
  Erich Grotewold
Ohio State University and Arabidopsis
Biological Resource Center, USA
  Nicholas Provart
University of Toronto, Canada
Dan Stanzione
University of Texas-Austin, USA
  Doreen Ware
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, USA

Working Groups (WG)
Detailed information can be found at the Working Groups page.

Working Groups (WG) will comprise a small number of international experts to address specific issues relevant to the IAIC. These groups will hold virtual meetings and retain responsibility for focused discussions on topics of primary importance to the IAIC. This includes helping to identify issues that have not already identified, inviting in people who can contribute in meaningful ways, and keeping notes of relevant discussions for reference and communication to others, including the broader public. These groups serve as a means to identify key contributors for involvement in the IAIC and as a way to dynamically respond to new and changing community needs and interests.

Current WGs

  1. Engineering/Architecture/Infrastructure
  2. Modules and Use Cases
  3. Standards and Ontologies

Possible Future WGs

  1. International Interactions and Coordination
  2. Data Interoperability
  3.  ….
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. #1062348. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.