Overview of the Gene Ontology and Annotations

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 TO BE REVIEWED 
 This is a mix of a number of older pages and presentations, including the presentation that Suzi L, Paul and Pascale did at the BC2 meeting in 2017
 Need to also check redundancy with http://geneontology.org/docs/go-annotations/


An ontology of Gene Function

The Gene Ontology is a "vocabulary" of gene functions, that contains classes representing biological concepts, and relationships between these concepts.

  • Classes: Each representing a biology entity
  • Relations: How different entities relate to one another
  • Each concept has two definitions:
    • human-readable
    • logical, i.e. relative to the other concepts. Logical definitions are computable.

GO annotations

An annotation is a statement linking a gene to some aspect of its function (a GO ontology term). Annotations describe:

  • How a gene functions at the molecular level
  • Where in the cell a gene functions
  • What biological processes (pathways, programs) a gene helps to carry out
  • Each annotation must be based on evidence, which is recorded as part of the annotation
    • Evidence code (type of evidence)
    • Reference (published journal article)


Together, the ontology and the annotations make a model of biological knowledge.