The Micronutrient Genomics Project: a community-driven knowledge base for micronutrient research

Micronutrients influence multiple metabolic pathways including oxidative and inflammatory processes. Optimum micronutrient supply is important for the maintenance of homeostasis in metabolism and, ultimately, for maintaining good health. With advances in systems biology and genomics technologies, it is becoming feasible to assess the activity of single and multiple micronutrients in their complete biological context. Existing research collects fragments of information, which are not stored systematically and are thus not optimally disseminated. The Micronutrient Genomics Project (MGP) was established as a community-driven project to facilitate the development of systematic capture, storage, management, analyses, and dissemination of data and knowledge generated by biological studies focused on micronutrient–genome interactions. Specifically, the MGP creates a public portal and open-source bioinformatics toolbox for all “omics” information and evaluation of micronutrient and health studies. The core of the project focuses on access to, and visualization of, genetic/genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic information related to micronutrients. For each micronutrient, an expert group is or will be established combining the various relevant areas (including genetics, nutrition, biochemistry, and epidemiology). Each expert group will (1) collect all available knowledge, (2) collaborate with bioinformatics teams towards constructing the pathways and biological networks, and (3) publish their findings on a regular basis. The project is coordinated in a transparent manner, regular meetings are organized and dissemination is arranged through tools, a toolbox web portal, a communications website and dedicated publications.

B. van Ommen, A. El-Sohemy, J. Hesketh, J. Kaput, M. Fenech, C.T. Evelo, H.J. McArdle, J. Bouwman, G. Lietz, J.C. Mathers, S. Fairweather-Tait, H. van Kranen, R. Elliott, S. Wopereis, L.R. Ferguson, C. Méplan, G. Perozzi, L. Allen, D. Rivero
Authors from the NMC: 
2010; 5 (4): 285–296
Published in: 
Genes & Nutrition
Date of publication: 
December, 2010
Status of the publication: