Download Ontology

Currently available

This page describes the various versions of Gene Ontology available for download. Note that there are some changes to download locations.

Name Permanent URL Description
GO ontology downloads (daily releases)
go-basic.obo Filtered, for use with legacy tools
go.obo Core ontology (OBO Format)
go.owl Core ontology (OWL RDF/XML)
extensions/go-plus.owl Core plus additional axioms, vetted
extensions/go-plus-dev.owl Core plus additional axioms, development


This is the basic version of the GO filtered such that the graph is guaranteed to be acyclic, and annotations can be propagated up the graph. The relations included are is_a, part_of, regulates, negatively_regulates and positively_regulates. This version excludes relationships that cross the 3 main GO hierarchies. This is the version that should be used with most GO-based annotation tools.

go.obo and go.owl

These files contain the core GO ontology in two formats, OBO and OWL-RDF/XML. This view includes relationships not in the filtered version of GO including has_part and occurs_in. The set of relationships used is likely to extend over time. Many of these relationships may not be safe for propagating annotations across, so this version should not be used with legacy GO tools. This version currently excludes relationships to external ontologies.


This version of GO includes cross ontology relationships (axioms) and imports additional required ontologies. This version is only available in OWL. Currently the only external ontology dependency is to CHEBI, but this will change in the future.


This is the development version of the extended GO. It includes dependencies on multiple external ontologies. Not all of the inter-ontology relationships have been vetted.


GO slims are subsets of terms in the ontology. GO slims give a broad overview of the ontology content without the detail of the specific fine grained terms. More information in the GO slim guide. The slims are named according to the focus or application of the slim; e.g. the Pombe slim contains terms particularly useful when annotating S. pombe; the generic slim is suitable for most applications and has no species bias.

The current list of supported slims is:

Legacy Downloads

The GO is also available in a number of other formats. These other formats are not recommended for new applications, but as many existing applications rely on these downloads we will continue to support them. For users of the GO-RDF/XML version of the ontology, we recommend the OWL RDF/XML version (see above). For OWL users, we continue to support the legacy obo2owl translation, but users are strongly encouraged to switch to the new translation (see above).

Database tables
MySQL database dump [database schema] Filtered ontology Daily MySQL database dump
SQL database dump [database schema] Filtered ontology Daily SQL database dump
XML format
RDF-XML [format guide; RDF-XML DTD] Filtered ontology Daily rdf-xml.gz
OBO-XML [format guide; OBO-XML RNC; OBO-XML RNG] Filtered ontology Daily obo-xml.gz
OWL (old mapping) [format guide] Filtered ontology Daily owl.gz

Archives and previous versions

An archive of the ontology files (in both current and legacy formats) from the first of each month is available on the GO website, or by downloading previous revisions of the ontology files via the GO web CVS interface, or from the directory go/ontology/ in the GO CVS repository.