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The Gene Ontology's Reference Genome Project: a unified framework for functional annotation across species.


The Gene Ontology (GO) is a collaborative effort that provides structured vocabularies for annotating the molecular function, biological role, and cellular location of gene products in a highly systematic way and in a species-neutral manner with the aim of unifying the representation of gene function across different organisms. Each contributing member of the GO Consortium independently associates GO terms to gene products from the organism(s) they are annotating. Here we introduce the Reference Genome project, which brings together those independent efforts into a unified framework based on the evolutionary relationships between genes in these different organisms. The Reference Genome project has two primary goals: to increase the depth and breadth of annotations for genes in each of the organisms in the project, and to create data sets and tools that enable other genome annotation efforts to infer GO annotations for homologous genes in their organisms. In addition, the project has several important incidental benefits, such as increasing annotation consistency across genome databases, and providing important improvements to the GO's logical structure and biological content.

Pubmed ID: 19578431


  • Reference Genome Group of the Gene Ontology Consortium


PLoS computational biology

Publication Data

July 6, 2009

Associated Grants

  • Agency: Medical Research Council, Id: G0500293
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: GM64426
  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: HD033745
  • Agency: NHGRI NIH HHS, Id: HG00022
  • Agency: NHLBI NIH HHS, Id: HL64541
  • Agency: NHGRI NIH HHS, Id: P41 HG000330
  • Agency: NHGRI NIH HHS, Id: P41 HG001315
  • Agency: NHGRI NIH HHS, Id: P41 HG002273
  • Agency: NHGRI NIH HHS, Id: P41 HG002273
  • Agency: NHGRI NIH HHS, Id: P41 HG002659-06
  • Agency: NHGRI NIH HHS, Id: P41 HG02223
  • Agency: British Heart Foundation, Id: SP/07/007/23671
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: U24 GM07790
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: U24 GM088849

Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Database Management Systems
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Vocabulary, Controlled