Susan Dutcher has agreed to contribute to an article for Trends in Genetics
on naming genetic loci in various laboratory organisms. Since there are
several different conventions in use for Chlamydomonas, agreement on a
single set of rules is desirable. Susan proposed the following suggestions
at the Chlamy meeting, but time was too short to reach a consensus. Her
proposal is appended here, and is now open for discussion. We need to
agree on something by the end of June. Please post your comments directly
to the network (chlamy at net.bio.net) - don't send them to me, or to Susan!
At the recent Chlamydomonas meeting at Lake Tahoe, a change in the genetic
nomenclature was proposed. This is the basic proposal. The goal was to
achieve a standard set of rules. Comments and helpful suggestions would be
1. We would use three letter acronyms for new loci. Previously named loci
would remain as two letters. These would include pf, lf, ac, sr. The y
would remain as a single letter.
2. The loci and the mutant alleles would be italics.
3. We would use capital letters for the dominant alleles, which would
generally be the wild-type alleles.
4. We would use lower case letters for the recessive alleles, which would
generally be the mutant alleles.
5. The loci would be numbered and have no hyphen between the acronym and
6. Alleles are numbered and separated from the locus name and number by a
For example, the locus (Your favorite gene) would be YFG. The first locus
would be YPG1, the second would be YPG2.
The recessive mutant alleles would be yfg1-1, yfg1-2. Dominant alleles
7. The nomenclature for the chloroplast genes would not be changed.
8. One possible modification would be to use capital letters for wild-type
alleles and lower case letters for mutant alleles. Dominant mutant alleles
would be designated with a "D". For example YFG1-3D.