Trends in Genetics is intending to publish a guide to genetic
nomenclature for about 20 of the "favourite" organisms of genetists
and developmental biologists. I have been approached by TIG to
provide a list of rules for Arabidopsis. The guidelines below are
those currently approved by David Meinke, curator of Arabidopsis
gene symbols. If anyone has any comments on these, before I
send them to TIG, please let me know as soon as possible.
GENE NOMENCLATURE IN ARABIDOPSIS
Mutants should be characterized in some detail before a formal
gene symbol is chosen and published. This analysis should
include (whenever possible) mapping the chromosomal location of
the mutant locus.
Complementation tests should be performed with mutants that map
to similar regions and/or exhibit similar phenotypes to ensure that
the "new" mutant has not already been identified and assigned a
Current lists of mutant gene symbols are available through
Arabidopsis stock centers and databases. Consult these lists
before you select a formal gene symbol, then contact the curator of
gene symbols to reserve your name and symbol of interest. Avoid
the use of symbols that might have another meaning (for example,
CHS currently refers to both the wild-type allele of a chilling
sensitive mutant (chs), and the cloned chalcone synthase gene).
The present curator is: David Meinke (Department of Botany,
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078; FAX 405-744-
7673; email btnydwm at osucc.bitnet;
btnydwm at mvs.ucc.okstate.edu). New symbols should be
reserved before publication or poster presentation.
A. Mutant gene symbols should have 3 letters (underlined or
italics) in lower case.
B. The wild-type allele should have these letters (underlined or
italics) in CAPS.
C. Protein products of genes should be in CAPS only.
D. Different genes with the same symbol are distinguished by
different numbers (for example: emb25 and emb26).
E. Different alleles of the same gene are distinguished with a
number following a hyphen (for example: emb20-1 and emb20-2).
F. When only a single allele is known, the hyphen (-1) is not
needed (thus: emb33 equals emb33-1 if only a single allele is
G. The same nomenclature applies to both dominant and
H. When picking a mutant gene symbol, avoid the use of symbols
that might have another meaning (for example, CHS currently
refers to both the wild-type allele of a chilling sensitive mutant
(chs), and the cloned chalcone synthase gene).
I. Phenotypes are designated by the gene symbol which is not
underlined but has the first letter capitalized (eg. Mey).
e-mail: ARABIDOPSIS at JII.AFRC.AC.UK
FAX: +44-603-505725 or 56844
John Innes Centre
Norwich NR4 7UJ