Contributing to the Ontology

When you have suggestions for new ontology terms, first make sure the term doesn't exist, either as a primary term or a synonym term. To do this, search the ontology using the AmiGO browser. Requests for new synonyms or clarification of textual definitions are also welcomed.

GOC GitHub Tracker

Connecting annotations: LEGO Models

The Gene Ontology Consortium is moving towards a more expressive way of describing the function of gene products that allows annotations to be connected together to give a complete function of what each gene does in the context of a larger biological process. The new model is called LEGO, for "Logical Extension of the Gene Ontology".


For example, with the current datamodel and Gene Association Files, it's possible to make two statements:
  • TEM1 enables GTPase activity
  • BFA1 enables GTPase inhibitor activity

Contributing to GO

Research groups may contribute to the Gene Ontology Consortium (GOC) by providing suggestions for updating the ontology (e.g. requesting new terms) or by providing GO annotations.

How to contribute to the ontology


GO Annotation File (GAF) Format 2.1

Annotation data is submitted to the GO Consortium in the form of gene association files, or GAFs. This guide lays out the format specifications for GAF 2.1; for the previous GAF 2.0 file syntax, please see the GAF 2.0 file format guide.

For the first GAF 1.0 file syntax, please see the GAF 1.0 file format guide.

Please see the information on the changes in GAF 2.1.

GO Mailing List

You can follow the activities the activities of the GO consortium by signing up to the go-friends email list. This mailing list sends announcements on major activities of the Gene Ontology Consortium: new services, resource changes and significant advancements are posted.

Subscription information and archived posts to the go-friends list

GO Consortium Photo Album

  • GO Consortium Meeting, Hôtel Mont Gabriel, Sainte-Adèle, Québec, Canada, October 21–23, 2008
  • GO Consortium Meeting, Jesus College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK, January 8–10, 2007
  • Annotation Camp, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA, July 12–14, 2006
  • Annotation Workshop, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA, July 10–11, 2006
  • GO Consortium Meeting, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, March 31–April 2, 2006

Download GO annotations


The gene association files submitted by GO Consortium members are shown in the tables below. Files are in the GO annotation file format and are compressed using the UNIX gzip utility. Please see the appropriate README file for further details on the annotation set. Any errors or omissions in annotations should be reported by writing to the GO Helpdesk.

Ontology and annotation data is integrated in the mySQL and XML files. See the GO database guide for more information.

GO Enrichment Analysis

One of the main uses of the GO is to perform enrichment analysis on gene sets. For example, given a set of genes that are up-regulated under certain conditions, an enrichment analysis will find which GO terms are over-represented (or under-represented) using annotations for that gene set.

Authoritative Database Groups

Authoritative Database Groups Where two or more databases are submitting data on the same species the GO Consortium encourages the model whereby one database group collects all annotation data for that species, removes the redundant (duplicate) annotations, and then submits the total dataset to the central repository. This ensures that no redundant annotations will appear in the master dataset. The table below documents those species for which a single database group is responsible for collating and submitting annotations.