GCP Crop Ontology

The GCP Crop Ontology project is the creation of the Generation Challenge Programme (GCP, http://www.generationcp.org/ ), which understood from its inception the importance of controlled vocabularies and ontologies for the digital annotation of data. 
The GCP Crop Ontology is a global public good, available to be used freely by allhttp://www.cropontology.org/

About the Crop ontology

In structured vocabularies, terms bear a particular, logically defined relationship to each other, allowing computational reasoning on data annotated with a structured vocabulary. The volume of agriculture-related information and terminology related to phenotype, breeding, germplasm, pedigree, traits, among others, is increasing exponentially. In order to facilitate access to the data held within and/or across the databases, GCP initiated the development of a Crop Ontology (CO), a tool to facilitate powerful manipulations of the data through ontology-driven approaches. This is a development that raised interest in CGIAR Centres and other communities, like the Gramene team developing the Plant Trait Ontology, ecologists and semantic web developers holding vast quantities of agriculture-related data. The project will continue the incremental validation and refinement of the Crop Ontology, which involves adding methods of trait measurement and experiments to enable the mapping of ontology terms onto measured, stored or published variables.

The Crop Ontology (CO) current objective is to compile validated concepts along with their inter-relationships on anatomy, structure and phenotype of Crops, on trait measurement and methods as well as on Germplasm with the multi-crop passport terms. The controlled vocabularies of the CO are being used to curate agronomic databases and describe the data. The use of ontology terms to describe agronomic phenotypes and the accurate mapping of these descriptions into databases is important in comparative phenotypic and genotypic studies across species and gene-discovery experiments as it provides harmonized description of the data and therefore facilitates the retrieval of information. Development of crop-specific trait ontologies and the germplasm ontologies began in 2008 for chickpea, maize, Musa, potato, rice and wheat, and in 2010 for cassava. In 2012, cowpea, groundnut, yam will be added. 

To get started with the Crop ontology

To learn all about the methodology used to develop the Crop ontology, the categories, etc, please have a look to :