Simplifying tomato research

Some members of the DES-Tomato team L-R: Research Scientist Magbubah Essack (Knowledge Mining Lab), Professor Vladimir Bajic (Knowledge Mining Lab), Research Specialist Adil Salhi (Knowledge Mining Lab), Research Scientist Sonia Negrao (Salt Lab)

By Rose Gregorio

A team of researchers from KAUST and their collaborator from New York University Abu Dhabi developed a one-of-a-kind and comprehensive tomato knowledgebase called DES-Tomato. This project required an interdisciplinary approach between computational experts from KAUST’s Knowledge Mining Lab and plant science specialists from KAUST’s Salt Lab.

“We actually sat down to discuss a different tomato project when we realized such a resource didn’t exist. Naturally, we wanted to fill that gap,” said the paper’s corresponding author, Professor Vladimir Bajic. 

This online resource allows users to not only discover information about the fruit but also to find associations between tomato-related biological entities such as genes, enzymes, bacteria, chemicals and many more. DES-Tomato gets information by sifting through publications on PubMed—the biggest repository of biomedical and life sciences literature. 

“Our resource could potentially save individual researchers several weeks’ worth of data gathering,” Bajic said. “It definitely helps if you are working on tomato research.”

To explore DES-Tomato, click here.