Database of queryable gene expression patterns for Xenopus



The precise localization of gene expression within the developing embryo, and how it changes over time, is one of the most important sources of information for elucidating gene function. As a searchable resource, this information has up until now been largely inaccessible to the Xenopus community. Here, we present a new database of Xenopus gene expression patterns, queryable by specific location or region in the embryo. Pattern matching can be driven either from an existing in situ image, or from a user-defined pattern based on development stage schematic diagrams. The data are derived from the work of a group of 21 Xenopus researchers over a period of 4 days. We used a novel, rapid manual annotation tool, XenMARK, which exploits the ability of the human brain to make the necessary distortions in transferring data from the in situ images to the standard schematic geometry. Developmental Dynamics 238:1379–1388, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.