Phenoscape is using multiple ontologies to describe variation in phenotypes across species. We have developed several new ontologies required for evolutionary biology, but whenever possible, we are sharing existing ontologies with the broader biological community. This will ensure the greatest interoperability between evolutionary and model organism data.
Phenoscape has developed ontologies that are required for the annotation of evolutionary phenotypes in fishes. These ontologies are publicly available and being used by the community.
These ontologies will keep changing to accommodate our community needs, and they have been admitted into the OBO CVS-based version-control system, from where the NCBO's BioPortal loads and updates ontologies on a regular basis. Both TAO and TTO can be browsed, searched, and visualized at the NCBO BioPortal.
Teleost Taxonomy Ontology
Phenotypes are associated with species using a taxonomy ontology, the Teleost Taxonomy Ontology (TTO) derived from the Catalog of Fishes. The TTO is updated in concert with Catalog of Fishes updates. Changes to the TTO relative to the latest version generated from a dump from the Catalog of Fishes are documented TTO_Changes.
We are in the process of developing a separate ontology of Taxonomic Ranks. These terms (e.g., family, genus, etc.) will then be removed from the TTO and links from taxonomic terms (property_value: has_rank) will be updated. Details about the taxonomy ontology can also be found here.
Teleost Anatomy Ontology
The Teleost Anatomy Ontology (TAO) is a multi-species ontology that was initialized with the terms in the Zebrafish Anatomical Ontology (ZFA). The development of the TAO currently focuses on the skeletal system because it varies significantly across the Ostariophysi, is well-preserved in fossil specimens, and it is often the focus of morphologically-based evolutionary studies in ichthyology. Details about the development of the TAO can be found here.
Fish Collection Codes Ontology
The current release, as used in Phenex is Fish Collection Abbreviations
These ontologies were developed and shared by a variety of model organism communities. Phenoscape is involved in extending these ontologies.