[Taxacom] GenBank (was The economics of biodiversity database initiatives)

Adam Cotton adamcot at cscoms.com
Mon Oct 28 09:50:19 CDT 2013

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Martin Wiemers" <martin.wiemers at univie.ac.at>
To: <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Monday, October 28, 2013 9:33 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] GenBank (was The economics of biodiversity database 

> Hi Adam,
> the "country" field in GenBank can actually also be used to provide more
> accurate information:
> From the GenBank Submissions Handbook:
> *The /country modifier can also include province, state, region, oceans,
> or other locality names*. The name of the country (or ocean) must be
> provided first, followed by a colon (:) before the additional location
> information.
> For example:
> /country=USA: Lancaster County, PA
> /country=Canada: SW coast of Newfoundland
> /country=USA: Syracuse State Park in upstate New York
> /country=Atlantic Ocean: 24.5 miles east of Bermuda
> /country=Pacific Ocean: Stubing Marine Station
> However, I agree that this is not perfect solution.
> GenBank now also includes a field for geographical coordinates (lat_lon)
> in the format "39.7 N 42.1 W".
> Although GenBank does not store voucher images, these can be stored to
> linked databases such as MorphBank via "LinkOut to external resources",
> see e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nuccore/AY556892.1
> Best wishes,
> Martin


Thank you very much for the additional information, which is exactly what 
should be used by sequence providers. My problem is that most of them either 
don't know (it does happen, I recently asked the author about the origin of 
a particular sequence, and his reply was that he only knew the specimen came 
from Brazil) or don't bother/realise that they can input precise data.

I strongly urge all people who add sequences to GenBank to include as much 
information as possible. It might then actually be useful in 100 years from 
now as well as short-term.


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