GO Slim and Subset Guide

GO Slim and Subset Guide

  • What is a GO Slim?
  • GO Slims Available
  • Maintained GO slims
  • Archived GO Slims
  • map2slim.pl
  • Prokaryotic subset

What is a GO Slim?

GO slims are cut-down versions of the GO ontologies containing a subset of the terms in the whole GO. They give a broad overview of the ontology content without the detail of the specific fine grained terms.

GO slims are particularly useful for giving a summary of the results of GO annotation of a genome, microarray, or cDNA collection when broad classification of gene product function is required. See the map2slim.pl section for a perl implementation of this.

GO slims are created by users according to their needs, and may be specific to species or to particular areas of the ontologies. GO provides a generic GO slim which, like the GO itself, is not species specific, and which should be suitable for most purposes. Alternatively, users can create their own GO slims or use one of the model organism-specific slims integrated into the GO flat file. Please email the GO helpdesk for more information about creating and submitting your GO slim.

GO Slims Available

Maintained GO slims

The GO slims in this list are maintained as part of the GO flat file. The files available below for download are generated by script from that file.
Maintained GO slims for download
Organism or Usage Download
Generic GO slim Developed by GO Consortium OBO format
Plant slim Developed by The Arabidopsis Information Resource OBO format
Candida albicans Developed by Candida Genome Database OBO format
Protein Information Resource slim Developed by Darren Natale, PIR OBO format
Schizosaccharomyces pombe slim Developed by Val Wood, PomBase OBO format
Yeast slim Developed by Saccharomyces Genome Database OBO format
Aspergillus slim Developed by Aspergillus Genome Data OBO format
Metagenomics slim Developed by Jane Lomax and the InterPro group OBO format

Archived GO Slims

There is also an archive of deprecated GO slims that are no longer maintained or updated. These files have been deposited for two reasons; the first is to give easy access to the GO slim used in a particular publication or analysis; the second is for reuse by others in the community.

All archival GO slims are in the deprecated GO flat file format, which can be converted into OBO format using the the obo2flat script, part of the OBO-Edit package; instructions on usage are provided in the OBO-Edit User Guide.

Users should note that the majority of these GO slims are no longer maintained by the authors, and they may contain GO terms which are now obsolete.

Archived GO slims for download
Topic / Usage Information Download
Generic GO slim Suparna Mundodi and Amelia Ireland Aug 2002 old GO format
Honey bee ESTs C.W. Whitfield, M.R. Band, M.F. Bonaldo, C.G. Kumar, L. Liu, J.R. Pardinas, H.M. Robertson, M.B. Soares, G.E. Robinson, PMID:11923340 Apr 2002 old GO format
Drosophila M. Adams, M. Ashburner, G.M. Rubin, S.E. Lewis et al.; Adams et al., PMID:10731132 Mar 2000 old GO format
Glossina ESTs M. Berriman Sep 2002 old GO format
UniProtKB-GOA N. Mulder, M. Pruess PMID:12230037 Nov 2002 old GO format
Mouse The RIKEN Genome Exploration Group Phase II Team and the FANTOM Consortium PMID:11217851 Feb 2001 old GO format
P. falciparum M. Berriman July 2002 old GO format
Plant Suparna Mundodi Dec 2002 old GO format
Rice (Beijing) J. Yu et al. PMID:11935017 Apr 2002 old GO format
Rice (Syngenta) J. Yu et al.PMID:11935018 Apr 2002 old GO format
Yeast SGD curators Aug 2003 old GO format


The map2slim.pl script, distributed as part of the go-perl package, maps a set of annotations up to their parent GO slim terms. Further documentation, installation help and instructions on running the script are available from the go-perl page at CPAN. A web version is available from AmiGO.

Prokaryotic subset

In addition to GO slims, GO also provides a prokaryote-specific subset of GO terms. This subset contains only terms that are applicable to prokaryotes, so for example, the terms nucleus and mitochondrion are excluded from the subset while the terms membrane and cytoplasm are included. At approximately 7000 terms, the set is much larger than the GO slims and it is intended to be used as a viewing tool for reducing the complexity of the ontologies for those users not interested in viewing eukaryotic terms, rather than to get a high-level view of an annotation set in the way that GO slims are used.

Unlike GO slims, the prokaryotic subset is not generated as a separate file, but is stored as a category in the GO ontology file. It is possible to view the terms in this subset using a filter in OBO-Edit (see the OBO-Edit user guide for instructions).