Nomenclature

T. Kaufman kaufman at bio.indiana.edu
Wed Mar 17 11:24:52 EST 1999


=============

 Dear Colleagues,

 We are writing with a suggestion about the nomenclature of Drosophila
 genes.

 It is now routine that a D. melanogaster gene is identified on the
 basis of sequence homology with (or more rarely, functional
 complementation for) a gene from another organism such as a yeast or a
 vertebrate.  Authors often prefix these Drosophila versions with "D" or "d"
 for Drosophila, or "Dm" for D. melanogaster.  However in the absence of a
 unifying pan-biological system of genetic nomenclature, to haphazardly
 use "D" or "d" or "Dm" is actually counterproductive.  Think of Danio,
 Dictyostelium, Daphnia magna .... there is room for confusion.

 FlyBase uses a defined system of prefixes for denoting species other
 than D. melanogaster.  Examples are "Dvir\" for D. virilis, "Dsim\" for D.
 simulans, etc.  Examples of gene symbols are  Dvir\Adh1 and Dsim\per
 (see flybase/Documents/nomenclature/species-abbreviations.txt for full
 listing of species abbreviations). We have not explicitly listed
 melanogaster genes with the prefix  "Dmel\" since we consider that to be
 implicit.  However we would like to suggest that when meaning to
 distinguish between a vertebrate gene and its Drosophila version that
 would otherwise have the same symbol, authors prefix the symbol with
 "Dmel\".  "D", "d", or "Dm" ought NOT to be used as a prefix to a
 D. melanogaster gene symbol - this is a long-standing convention, having
 been made explicit by Lindsley and Zimm in the 1992 edition of the Red
 Book.


 FlyBase
 ============

Thom Kaufman   	     	       kaufman at sunflower.bio.indiana.edu
--- Biology Dept.,  Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405 ---
812-855-3033/Office--812-855-7674/Lab--812-855-2577/FAX





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