The paper presents the development of a virtual database for the genotypic selection of cereal cultivars starting from phenotypic traits.
The database is realized by integrating two existing web databases, Gramene and Graingenes, and a pre-existing data source developed by the Agrarian Faculty of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. The integration process gives rise to a virtual integrated view of the underlying sources. This integration is obtained using the MOMIS system (Mediator envirOnment for Multiple Information Sources), a framework developed by the Database Group of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (www.dbgroup.unimo.it). MOMIS performs information extraction and integration from both structured and semistructured data sources. Information integration is performed in a semi-automatic way, by exploiting the knowledge in a Common Thesaurus (defined by the framework) and the descriptions of source schemas with a combination of clustering and Description Logics techniques. Momis allows querying information in a transparent mode for the user regardless of the specific languages of the sources. The result obtained by applying MOMIS to Gramene and Graingenes web databases is a queriable virtual view that integrates the two sources and allow performing genotypic selection of cultivars of barley, wheat and rice based on phenotypic traits, regardless of the specific languages of the web databases. The project is conducted in collaboration with the Agrarian Faculty of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and funded by the Regional Government of Emilia Romagna.