MitBASE is an integrated and comprehensive database of mitochondrial DNA data which collects, under a single interface, databases for Plant, Vertebrate, Invertebrate, Human, Protist and Fungal mtDNA and a Pilot database on nuclear genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. MitBASE reports all available information from different organisms and from intraspecies variants and mutants. Data have been drawn from the primary databases and from the literature; value adding information has been structured, e,g,, editing information on protist mtDNA genomes, pathological information for human mtDNA variants, etc. The different databases, some of which are structured using commercial packages (Microsoft Access, File Maker Pro) while others use a flat-file format, have been integrated under ORACLE. Ad hoc retrieval systems have been devised for some of the above listed databases keeping into account their peculiarities. The database is resident at the EBI and is available at the following site: http://www3.ebi.ac.uk/Research/Mitbase/mitbase.pl. The impact of this project is intended for both basic and applied research. The study of mitochondrial genetic diseases and mitochondrial DNA intraspecies diversity are key topics in several biotechnological fields. The database has been funded within the EU Biotechnology programme.
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