User Contributed Annotation System - Tutorial

This tutorial describes the User Contributed Annotation (UCA) system and how to use it.

Description of the UCA system

Quick Steps for Submitting an Annotation


User Annotation History

Change Contact Information

Description of the UCA system

The UCA system facilitates annotation creation and submission by individual users for incorporation into AtGDB. Thus, the UCA system allows the community to contribute to the annotation integrity and accuracy of AtGDB - making AtGDB a true community database. Users will find that they can easily and swiftly create and submit annotations via the UCA system. After a submitted annotation is approved by the AtGDB administrator, it is incorporated into AtGDB and publicly viewable on the UCA track. Submitions are reviewed weekly. Additionally, accepted annotations are added to our BLAST databases.

Quick Steps for Submitting an Annotation

1. log in or register for a new user id. After logging in, you arrive at the User Home page.

2. Click on the Provide Annotation link. This brings you to the User Annotation Submission page, which consists of a genomic plot, a gene evidence table, and text fields for entering annotation details. These combine for an interactive form to assist your annotation submission.
The provide annotation link is available on every Genomic Context Page.

3. Enter Gene Structure
The UCA system at AtGDB provides flexible and dynamic mechanisms for swiftly and confidently entering a gene structure. Exons can be entered through several means: selecting exons in the evidence table, clicking on exons in the genomic plot, clicking on a structure in the genomic plot, typing in custom User Defined exons, and pasting a complete structure. (Introns are automatically defined by flanking exons. As you enter your structure, it is displayed for your convenience. After a description of these mechanisms, there is a description of the priority of these methods.

The Evidence Table
The evidence table contains all exons of EST and cDNA spliced alignments, the 'evidence', in the current genomic region, which meet AtGDB quality thresholds. Exons are sorted by their left genomic coordinate and grouped into color coded rows, which are mutually exclusive and represent the variants of an exon. (1) Each row presents the coordinates, average GeneSeqer score, and EST and cDNA splice aligned sequences of the exon. Each evidence sequence id is hyperlinked to the GeneSeqer result files. (2) The scores and Geneseqer result file allow a user to view the spliced alignment on the sequence level and to provide a confident annotation. Complementary to this function, the transcript view displays evidence sequences and annotations textually and graphically, which is accesible by a link at the top of the page.

To select an exon, click on a button of a row.(1) To remove an exon, click the button a second time.

Only exons in the current genomic region are permitted to be entered through any of these mechanisms. To edit the range, enter new start and end values, select a chromosome, and click the Get Evidence Button. (3)

User Defined Exons
To enter an exon not represented in the sequence evidence, enter 5' and 3' coordinates for your exon and click add.(4) User defined exons are displayed in the larger box. To remove User Defined Exons, click on the 'clear user defined exons' button. individual User Defined Exon removal is available.

The Genomic Plot and Annotation Structure Preview
The Genomic Plot offers a quick way to select exons from evidence sequence splice alignments. The symbols of the Genomic Plot are identical to the Genomic Context View. Clicking on an exon (5), selects the exon. Coordinated to this selection, the button of the exon is selected in the Evidence Table (1), and the Annotation Structure Preview displays the current annotation gene structure with that exon.(7) Clicking on that exon, or on a similar exon in a different evidence sequence, a second time will remove that exon. Clicking on unique exons of Genbank annotations are inserted into the User Defined Exons box, since they are not sequence evidence.
Additionally, clicking on the id of a structure (6), resets current annotation structure, and selects all of the exons of that structure.

mRNA structure text entry
A structure can be directly into the mRNA structure box in Genbank or GeneSeqer format. Clicking outside the structure box will update the selected buttons in the Evidence Table, the User Defined Exons, and the Annotation Structure Preview. This method is recommended only for those using alternative programs.

To reset the mRNA structure for your annotation, click the 'reset annotation' button which will reset everything.

ab initio Portals
At the bottom of the page, there are several portals to ab initio gene prediction programs. These buttons open a new window with results of the program for the current range of genomic sequence, with a button beside each predicted exon. When a button is clicked, the exon is added to your annotation. If the coordinates are shared with an evidence supported exon, the exon in the Evidence Table is selected. If it is not supported by evidence, it is added to User Defined Exons. When you are done with the portal, close the window. Note: It is recommended that annotations have evidence supported exons to ensure inclusion in AtGDB.

4. Enter a protein coding region using the ATGDB Open Reading Frame Finder Portal.

5. Enter Annotation Description fields

7. Save or Submit Annotation. If satisfied with the current annotation, click on the submit button at the top of the page. To save save the annotation for future editing, click on the save button. This annotation is now accessible from the User Home page and will be available until you submit it or delete it.

Priority of Exon Entry Mechanisms
The following order of exon entry/removal mechanisms reflects their general priority in descending order:



Example 1: Gene Model Split
Example 2: Gene Model Merge

User Annotation History

Upon logging in, user annotation history and status is presented, for the version of the Arabidopsis genome selected.
Status Definitions:
saved = saved by user, but not submitted to AtGDB
in review = submitted by user
held =
accepted = incorporated into AtGDB

* Only the annotations for the selected version are displayed *

Change User Account Information

After logging in, click on Edit Contact Information. From the resulting page, you are able to edit your name, email, phone, and password.