Preparing GO Annotations for Submission

This page documents the steps required to take when supplying Gene Ontology annotations to the GO Consortium (GOC). For general information on how to conduct GO annotations, please see the GO Annotation Policies Guide.

Integration with SAO (Subcellular Anatomy Ontology)

The primary use of the GO Cellular Component Ontology is for GO annotation, but it has also been used for phenotype annotation, and for the annotation of images. Another ontology with similar scope is the Subcellular Anatomy Ontology (SAO), part of the Neuroscience Information Framework Standard (NIFSTD) suite of ontologies. The SAO also covers cell components, but in the domain of neuroscience.

Annotation Extension

Each annotation in the Gene Ontology (GO) pairs a single gene product identifier to a single term from the ontology. This very powerful format can also restrict the descriptiveness of a specific instance of a function or a sub-cellular location, as there must be a pre-existing (pre-composed) term in the ontology that provides full details of the specific aspects of the function.

GO Qualifiers


Annotation is the process of assigning GO terms to gene products. The annotation data in the GO database is contributed by members of the GO Consortium, and the Consortium is actively encouraging new groups to start contributing annotation. Annotations can be made from published literature where a curator reads and interprets the experiments and results presented in a paper or can be inferred automatically using sequence information or by key word mapping. Details on how to make automatic inferences can be found on the Electronic Annotation page.

GO Annotation Standard Operating Procedures

This page documents some of the standard operating procedures used by members of the GO Consortium during the process of annotation. Please note that these do not represent the best, or only ways to carry out annotation, but are simply a guide to how some groups currently annotate.

GO Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge the many other contributors to GO annotation efforts: