The world's three leading public repositories for DNA and RNA sequence information have reached 100 gigabases (100,000,000,000 bases; the 'letters' of the genetic code) of sequence. Thanks to their data exchange policy, which has paved the way for the global exchange of many types of biological information, the three members of the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration (INSDC, www.insdc.org),EMBL-Bank (Hinxton,UK), GenBank (Bethesda, USA) and the DNA Data Bank of Japan(Mishima, Japan) all reached this milestone together.
Takashi Gojobori, Director of the Center for Information Biology and DNA Data Bank of Japan, says: "The INSDC has laid the foundations for the exchange of many types of biological information: as we enter the era of systems biology and researchers begin to exchange complex types of information such as the results of experiments that measure the activities of thousands of genes, or computational models of entire processes, it is important to celebrate the achievements of the three databases that pioneered the open exchange of biological information."
Graham Cameron, Associate Director of EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute, says "This is an important milestone in the history of the nucleotide sequence databases; From the first EMBL Data Library entry made available in 1982 to today's provision of over 55 million sequence entries from at least 200,000 different organisms, these resources have anticipated the needs of molecular biologists and addressed them - often in the face of a serious lack of resources."
David Lipman, Director of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, adds: "Today's nucleotide sequence databases allow researchers to share completed genomes, the genetic make-up of entire ecosystems, and sequences associated with patents. The INSDC has realized the vision of the researchers who initiated the sequence database projects, by making the global sharing of nucleotide sequence information possible."
EMBL-Bank and GenBank had started International Nucleotide Sequence Database activities in 1980, and DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ) had joined in its activities as a third collaborative partner in 1987. DDBJ has received data submission from all the countries of the world, mainly from Japan. By exchanging the collected data with another 2 databanks, DDBJ has contributed to the development of International Nucleotide Sequence Database collaboration.
For details of DDBJ, please refer to http://www.ddbj.nig.ac.jp/.