Porifera Ontology (PORO)

We are developing an ontology covering the anatomy of Porifera (sponges).

Bob Thacker
(primary contact)
thacker [at] uab.edu

Cristina Diaz
Adeline Kerner
RĂ©gine Vignes-Lebbe
Chris Mungall
Erik Segerdell


PORO consists of a number of disjoint orthogonal hierarchies. The focus is on anatomical entities, but other types of entities are also included. Other OBO Library ontologies are imported or MIREOTed as far as possible.

Anatomical Entity

This ontology follows a CARO-compliant hierarchical organization of anatomical entities.

Biological Process

A subset of the Gene Ontology biological process (BP) hierarchy is MIREOTed in, and extended with Porifera-specific classes (reproductive smoking, spiculogenesis).

Chemical Entity

A subset of CHEBI is MIREOTed in. So far this is the chemical entities required:

  • biogenic silica
  • calcium carbonate

A small protein hierarchy is also included under chemical entity. So far this just contains some sponge-specific enzymes.

Life Cycle Stage

Stages are treated as disjoint from the anatomical entities themselves.


A subset of PATO is MIREOTed in. The primary use for this hierarchy is to catalog morphological types.