A procedure for assessing GO annotation consistency.

Document Type


Publication Date


JAX Source

Bioinformatics 2005 Jun; 21(Suppl1):i136-i143.


MOTIVATION: The Gene Ontology (GO) is widely used to annotate molecular attributes of genes and gene products. Multiple groups undertaking functional annotations of genomes contribute their annotation sets to the GO database resource and these data are subsequently used in comparative functional analysis research. Although GO curators adhere to the same protocols and standards while assigning GO annotations, the specific procedure followed by each annotation group can vary. Since differences in application of annotation standards would dilute the effectiveness of comparative analysis, methods for assessing annotation consistency are essential. The development of methodologies that are broadly applicable for the assessment of GO annotation consistency is an important issue for the comparative genomics community. RESULTS: We have developed a methodology for assessing the consistency of GO annotations provided by different annotation groups. The method is completely general and can be applied to compare any two sets of GO annotations. This is the first attempt to assess cross-species GO annotation consistency. Our method compares annotation sets utilizing the hierarchical structure of the GO to compare GO annotations between orthologous gene pairs. The method produces a report on the annotation consistency and inconsistency for each orthologous pair. We present results obtained by comparing GO annotations for mouse and human gene sets. AVAILABILITY: The complete current MGI_GOA GO annotation consistency report is available online at http://www.spatial.maine.edu/~mdolan/ CONTACT: mdolan@informatics.jax.org.