Favourite gene name?

Gillian Millburn (Genetics) gm119 at gen.cam.ac.uk
Wed Feb 7 11:34:38 EST 2001

> Hello!
> I'm writing an article about naming genes. I'd like
> to mention some interesting, clever, or just funny
> examples. Drosophila, of course, is the organism
> with most creative gene names.
> So, I'd like to ask you, what is your favourite
> gene name? Please provide the explanation of the
> name also, as I'm not a Drosophila researcher
> myself.
> Thanks!
> --
> \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
>    Mikael Niku             URL: www.helsinki.fi/~mniku/
>    University of Helsinki  Dept. Basic Veterinary Sciences
>        - Mitäkö mieltä olen länsimaisesta sivistyksestä?
>          Minusta se olisi erinomainen ajatus!
>                                               - Gandhi
> ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Dear Mikael,

you can find explanations for the names of Drosophila genes on FlyBase
(when people write in papers the reason for a gene name we record it in
FlyBase under "Etymology").

1. If you go the FlyBase homepage:


2. click on "Search Genes"

this takes you to:


3. type in "Etymology" in the Any field box and hit "Submit".

You get a list of 88 genes that have Etymology information explaining
why the gene is called what it is called.

You can then click on each gene and then click on "Full report" on the
gene page and look for "Etymology" using the "Find in page" option, and
you will get to the part that describes the etymology.

As an example, if you click on the gene "bgm" (bubblegum) you will find

"The appellation bubblegum refers to the bubbly appearance of the
lamina in the mutant."

Alternatively you can download all the information on the 88 genes at
once by going to the bottom of the query result page, and clicking on
the "All" button by "fetch items" and changing "Report content" to
"Full".  You will then be able to find all the Etymology lines by
finding in the same page (rather than having to click on each gene
individually), but be warned, it takes a long time to download all the
information !

Hopefully this will get you some good examples,


Gillian Millburn.

FlyBase (Cambridge),
Department of Genetics,
University of Cambridge,
Downing Street,                       email: gm119 at gen.cam.ac.uk
Cambridge,  CB2 3EH,                  Ph : 01223-333963
UK.                                   FAX: 01223-333992

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