The Disease Portals, disease-gene annotation and the RGD disease ontology at the Rat Genome Database

Database (Oxford). 2016 Mar 23;2016:baw034. doi: 10.1093/database/baw034. Print 2016.


The Rat Genome Database (RGD; provides critical datasets and software tools to a diverse community of rat and non-rat researchers worldwide. To meet the needs of the many users whose research is disease oriented, RGD has created a series of Disease Portals and has prioritized its curation efforts on the datasets important to understanding the mechanisms of various diseases. Gene-disease relationships for three species, rat, human and mouse, are annotated to capture biomarkers, genetic associations, molecular mechanisms and therapeutic targets. To generate gene-disease annotations more effectively and in greater detail, RGD initially adopted the MEDIC disease vocabulary from the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database and adapted it for use by expanding this framework with the addition of over 1000 terms to create the RGD Disease Ontology (RDO). The RDO provides the foundation for, at present, 10 comprehensive disease area-related dataset and analysis platforms at RGD, the Disease Portals. Two major disease areas are the focus of data acquisition and curation efforts each year, leading to the release of the related Disease Portals. Collaborative efforts to realize a more robust disease ontology are underway. Database URL:

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Databases, Genetic*
  • Disease / genetics*
  • Gene Ontology*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation*
  • Rats
  • Software
  • Species Specificity