Part-of relations are central to anatomy. However, the definition, formalisation and use of part-of in anatomy ontologies is problematic. This paper surveys existing formal approaches, as well as the use of partof in the Open Biological Ontologies (OBO) anatomies of model species. Based on this analysis, we propose a minimal ontology for anatomy which is expressed in the Semantic Web languages RDFS and OWL-Full. The paper concludes with a description of the context of this work in capturing cross-species tissue homologies and analogies.
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