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Christopher Fields
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Bio::DB::Taxonomy::entrez - Taxonomy Entrez driver


# Do not use this object directly, rather through the Bio::DB::Taxonomy # interface

  use Bio::DB::Taxonomy;

  my $db = Bio::DB::Taxonomy->new(-source => 'entrez');

  my $taxonid = $db->get_taxonid('Homo sapiens');
  my $node   = $db->get_Taxonomy_Node(-taxonid => $taxonid);

  my $gi = 71836523;
  my $node = $db->get_Taxonomy_Node(-gi => $gi, -db => 'protein');
  print $node->binomial, "\n";
  my ($species,$genus,$family) =  $node->classification;
  print "family is $family\n";

  # Can also go up 4 levels
  my $p = $node;  
  for ( 1..4 ) { 
    $p = $db->get_Taxonomy_Node(-taxonid => $p->parent_id);
  print $p->rank, " ", ($p->classification)[0], "\n";

  # could then classify a set of BLAST hits based on their GI numbers
  # into taxonomic categories.

It is not currently possibly to query a node for its children so we cannot completely replace the advantage of the flatfile Bio::DB::Taxonomy::flatfile module.


A driver for querying NCBI Entrez Taxonomy database.


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rather than to the module maintainer directly. Many experienced and reponsive experts will be able look at the problem and quickly address it. Please include a thorough description of the problem with code and data examples if at all possible.

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Report bugs to the Bioperl bug tracking system to help us keep track of the bugs and their resolution. Bug reports can be submitted via the web:


AUTHOR - Jason Stajich

Email jason-at-bioperl.org


Sendu Bala: bix@sendu.me.uk


The rest of the documentation details each of the object methods. Internal methods are usually preceded with a _


 Title   : new
 Usage   : my $obj = Bio::DB::Taxonomy::entrez->new();
 Function: Builds a new Bio::DB::Taxonomy::entrez object
 Returns : an instance of Bio::DB::Taxonomy::entrez
 Args    : -location => URL to Entrez (if you want to override the default)
           -params   => Hashref of URL params if you want to override the


 Title   : get_num_taxa
 Usage   : my $num = $db->get_num_taxa();
 Function: Get the number of taxa stored in the database.
 Returns : A number
 Args    : None


 Title   : get_taxon
 Usage   : my $taxon = $db->get_taxon(-taxonid => $taxonid)
 Function: Get a Bio::Taxon object from the database.
 Returns : Bio::Taxon object
 Args    : just a single value which is the database id, OR named args:
           -taxonid => taxonomy id (to query by taxonid)
           -name    => string (to query by a taxonomy name: common name, 
                               scientific name, etc)
           To retrieve a taxonomy node for a GI number provide the -gi option
           with the gi number and -db with either 'nucleotide' or 'protein' to
           define the db.
            AND optionally,
           -full    => 1 (to force retrieval of full information - sometimes
                          minimal information about your taxon may have been
                          cached, which is normally used to save database


 Title   : get_taxonids
 Usage   : my $taxonid = $db->get_taxonids('Homo sapiens');
 Function: Searches for a taxonid (typically ncbi_taxon_id) based on a query
           string. Note that multiple taxonids can match to the same supplied
 Returns : array of integer ids in list context, one of these in scalar context
 Args    : string representing taxon's name


 Title   : ancestor
 Usage   : my $ancestor_taxon = $db->ancestor($taxon)
 Function: Retrieve the ancestor taxon of a supplied Taxon from the database.

           Note that unless the ancestor has previously been directly
           requested with get_taxon(), the returned Taxon object will only have
           a minimal amount of information.

 Returns : Bio::Taxon
 Args    : Bio::Taxon (that was retrieved from this database)


 Title   : each_Descendent
 Usage   : my @taxa = $db->each_Descendent($taxon);
 Function: Get all the descendents of the supplied Taxon (but not their
           descendents, ie. not a recursive fetchall).

           Note that this implementation is unable to return a taxon that
           hasn't previously been directly fetched with get_taxon(), or wasn't
           an ancestor of such a fetch.

 Returns : Array of Bio::Taxon objects
 Args    : Bio::Taxon (that was retrieved from this database)

Some Get/Setter methods


 Title   : entrez_url
 Usage   : $obj->entrez_url($newval)
 Function: Get/set entrez URL
 Returns : value of entrez url (a scalar)
 Args    : on set, new value (a scalar or undef, optional)


 Title   : entrez_params
 Usage   : $obj->entrez_params($newval)
 Function: Get/set entrez params
 Returns : value of entrez_params (a hashref)
 Args    : on set, new value Hashref

Bio::DB::WebBase methods


 Title   : proxy_string
 Usage   : my $proxy_string = $self->proxy_string($protocol)
 Function: Get the proxy string (plus user/pass )
 Returns : string
 Args    : protocol ('http' or 'ftp'), default 'http'


 Title   : proxy
 Usage   : $httpproxy = $db->proxy('http')  or
           $db->proxy(['http','ftp'], 'http://myproxy' )
 Function: Get/Set a proxy for use of proxy
 Returns : a string indicating the proxy
 Args    : $protocol : an array ref of the protocol(s) to set/get
           $proxyurl : url of the proxy to use for the specified protocol
           $username : username (if proxy requires authentication)
           $password : password (if proxy requires authentication)


 Title   : authentication
 Usage   : $db->authentication($user,$pass)
 Function: Get/Set authentication credentials
 Returns : Array of user/pass
 Args    : Array or user/pass