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A controlled vocabulary for livestock phenotyping: the ATOL ontology

Abstract : Recent technological advances allow the production of large biological datasets that makes the description of phenotypes more accurate. To analyze this huge amount of information with computers and thus compare phenotypes, it is essential to define a standard language that unambiguously defines phenotypic traits so as to serve as a reference, worldwide, to any possible user (geneticist, physiologist, biochemist, modeler, producer...). The absence of such a language/reference for livestock species has led Inra, in collaboration with its international partners, to develop an ontology that is called ATOL (Animal Trait Ontology for Livestock). Its aims are to define the phenotypic characters of livestock species, and allocate them to different types: performance traits (feed efficiency, fertility), production traits (dairy, meat, eggs, fatty liver) and societal traits (welfare). This article summarizes the objectives of the project, the original approach used to build the ontology, but also its current status and performance as well as its limitation. This ontology is publicly available on the web and expected to be widely shared worldwide for the common use of unique terms to annotate publications, databases or mine literature and thus promote systemic as well as predictive biology.
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Contributor : Urafpa Ul <>
Submitted on : Thursday, July 13, 2017 - 4:35:44 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 3:49:03 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-01562167, version 1


Pierre-Yves Le Bail, J. Bugeon, Olivier Dameron, A. Fatet, W. Golik, et al.. A controlled vocabulary for livestock phenotyping: the ATOL ontology. Productions animales, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, 2014, 27 (3), pp.195-207. ⟨hal-01562167⟩



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