The Planarian Anatomy Ontology: A resource to connect data within and across experimental platforms

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As the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea ( Smed ) gains popularity as a research organism, the need for standard anatomical nomenclature is increasingly apparent. A controlled vocabulary streamlines data annotation, improves data organization, and enhances cross-platform and cross-species searchability. We created the Planarian Anatomy Ontology (PLANA), an extendable framework of defined Smed anatomical terms organized using relationships. The most current version contains over 800 terms that describe Smed anatomy from subcellular to system-level across all life cycle stages, in intact animals, and regenerating body fragments. Terms from other anatomy ontologies were imported into PLANA to promote ontology interoperability and comparative anatomy studies. To demonstrate the utility of PLANA for data curation, we created web-based resources for planarian embryogenesis, including a staging series and molecular fate mapping atlas, as well as a searchable Planarian Anatomy Gene Expression database, which integrates a variety of published gene expression data and allows retrieval of information of all published sequences associated with specific planarian anatomical regions. Finally, we report methods for continued curation of PLANA, providing a path for expansion and evolution of this community resource. Summary Statement We report construction of an anatomy ontology for an emerging research organism and show its use to curate and mine data across multiple experimental platforms..