The Echinoderm Anatomical Ontology (ECAO)
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The Echinoderm Anatomical Ontology (ECAO)

The Echinoderm Anatomical Ontology (ECAO) uses standardized terms to refer to anatomical cell types and structures and relates these to developmental stages. Numerous echinoderm species are included in the ontology so that some terms are present in all echinoderms while others are species specific.

The ECAO contains thousands of anatomical terms for cell types, structures and tissues and anatomical systems such as the nervous system or skeletal system. Relationships between entities are are defined using "develops_from" or "develops_into" and "is_a" or "part_of". 

For example developmentally foregut develops_from archenteron and develops_into larval esophagus, and anatomically the foregut is part_of the anterior foregut, dorsal foregut, posterior foregut and ventral foregut.  

Below is the page as it appears in the anatomy search for "foregut".




These ECAO terms are then used by Echinobase curators to document the features of normal spatiotemporal gene expression and the effects of experimental perturbations. 

The ECAO is constantly updated with the latest published echinoderm research.

The ECAO can be searched using anatomical terms or developmental stages or GO Terms.

Figure by Charles Ettensohn.

Last Updated: 2024-01-19