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Title: Naming genes beyond Caenorhabditis

item BEECH, ROBIN - McGill University - Canada
item Zarlenga, Dante
item BIRD, DAVID - North Carolina State University
item BERRIMAN, MATT - Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
item DENT, JOE - McGill University - Canada

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/22/2010
Publication Date: 6/22/2010
Citation: Beech, R., Zarlenga, D.S., Bird, D., Berriman, M., Dent, J. 2010. Naming genes beyond Caenorhabditis [abstract]. The Worm Breeder's Gazette. 18(2):17.

Interpretive Summary: With the plethora of genes from parasitic nematodes that are being deposited in databases, it has become critical to develop a system of nomenclature such that genes of similar origins and/or functionality but from disparate organisms can be identified by name. Given that those studying the nematode C. elegans have developed such a system, it is in our best interests to use and expound upon this for naming genes in the entire phylum Nematoda. To this end we are developing a foundation for naming genes among the Nematoda that will stand the test of time and be expandable to newly derived genes and parasites that have yet to be identified without fear of redundancy. This manuscript introduces some of these concepts and requests input from the community working in this area to arrive at a consensus so that the future of genomics and transcriptomics will not be burdened and hindered by accounting issues related to gene names and functionality.

Technical Abstract: The nomenclature of genes in Caenorhabditis elegans is based on long-standing, successful guidelines established in the late 1970s. Over time these guidelines have matured into a comprehensive, systematic nomenclature that is easy to apply, descriptive and therefore highly informative. Recently, a flood of parasitic nematode’s genome data has become available. As a result, several different nomenclature systems have developed providing a strong case for the adoption of a single set of guidelines across the nematodes. Naming of species-specific genes requires coordination with the C. elegans nomenclature to avoid conflicts. For a nomenclature to be accepted and generally applied, a wide consensus among those who use the guidelines is required. Herein we propose the beginnings of such a set of guidelines.