Download the ontology

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

Ontology files: General information

  • Released monthly
  • Available in the following formats:
    • OBO 1.4 files are human-readable (in addition to machine-readable) and can be opened in any text editor
    • OWL files can be opened with Protégé
  • GO subsets (slims) are available in the above formats as well as JSON:
    • JSON files should be loaded with ontobio, although they can be opened with any text editor

Ontology files: Specific files


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 GO hierarchies. This version 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. 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 excludes relationships to external ontologies.


This is the fully axiomatised version of the GO. It includes cross-ontology relationships (axioms) and imports additional required ontologies including ChEBI, Cell Ontology and Uberon. It also includes a complete set of relationship types including some not in go.obo/go.owl. This version is only available in OWL format.

Ontology files: Subsets

GO slims are subsets of terms in the ontology. GO subsets give a broad overview of the ontology content without the detail of the specific fine grained terms. More information in the GO subset guide.

Download GO subsets

The GO subsets 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.

Subset name Maintainer File name OBO format OWL format json format
GO slim AGR subset Developed by GO Consortium for the Alliance of Genomes Resources goslim_agr obo owl json
Generic GO subset GO Consortium goslim_generic obo owl json
Aspergillus subset Aspergillus Genome Data goslim_aspergillus obo owl json
Candida albicans subset Candida Genome Database goslim_candida obo owl json
Drosophila subset FlyBase goslim_drosophila obo owl json
Chembl Drug Target subset ChEMBL goslim_chembl obo owl json
Metagenomics subset InterPro group goslim_metagenomic obo owl json
Mouse GO slim Mouse Genome Informatics goslim_mouse obo owl json
Plant subset The Arabidopsis Information Resource goslim_plant obo owl json
Protein Information Resource subset PIR goslim_pir obo owl json
Schizosaccharomyces pombe subset PomBase goslim_pombe obo owl json
Yeast subset Saccharomyces Genome Database goslim_yeast obo owl json

Download GO “anti-slims

For internal checking purposes, GO maintains two “anti-slims”, terms to which annotations should not be made. “Anti-slim” terms should never be used when creating a subset.

Subset name Usage File name OBO format OWL format json format
Do not annotate The set of high level terms that are useful for grouping, but should have no direct annotations gocheck_do_not_annotate obo owl json
Do not manually annotate The set of high level terms that are useful for grouping, but should have no direct annotations except from automated tools gocheck_do_not_manually_annotate obo owl json

Cross-references of GO to other classification systems

Many GO classes have been cross-referenced (mapped) to a number of external classification systems. The cross-references of external classification systems to GO page contains more information and links to the cross-reference2GO files.

Snapshot editions

As of April 2019, the standard PURLs for GO will resolve to the monthly (release) version. We strongly recommend using the latest official release instead of snapshot. If you have need to access the snapshot (daily) version, use /snapshot/ in the URL. For example:

  • OBO format tools in GitHub: a wrapper for the Java (OWL-API) implementation of a parser for OBOF1.4 syntax and an implementation of the OBOF1.4 mapping to OWL (uses the OWL API)
  • OWL API in Github: a Java API for creating, manipulating and serialising OWL Ontologies