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Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative

Gene Nomenclature for the Cucurbitaceae

  • References

    • CGC Gene List Committee. 1982. Update of cucurbit gene list and nomenclature rules. CGC 5:62-66.
    • Rieger, R., A. Michaelis and M.M. Green. 1976. Glossary of Genetics and Cytogenetics (4th ed.). Springer-Verlag.
    • Robinson, R.W., H.M. Munger, T.W. Whitaker and G.W. Bohn. 1976. Genes of the Cucurbitaceae. HortScience 11:554-568.
  1. Names of genes should describe a characteristic feature of the mutant type in a minimum of adjectives and/or nouns in English or Latin.
  2. Genes are symbolized by italicized Roman letters, the first letter of the symbol being the same as that for the name. A minimum number of additional letters are added to distinguish each symbol.
  3. The first letter of the symbol and name is capitalized if the mutant gene is dominant. All letters of the symbol and name are in lower case if the mutant gene is recessive, with the first letter of the symbol capitalized for the dominant or normal allele. (Note: For CGC research articles, the normal allele of a mutant gene may be represented by the symbol “+”, or the symbol of the mutant gene followed by the superscript “+”, if greater clarity is achieved for the manuscript.)
  4. A gene symbol shall not be assigned to a character unless supported by statistically valid segregation data for the gene.
  5. Mimics, i.e. different mutants having similar phenotypes, may either have distinctive names and symbols or be assigned the same gene symbol, followed by a hyphen and distinguishing Arabic numeral or Roman letter printed at the same level as the symbol. The suffix “-1” is used, or may be understood and not used, for the original gene in a mimic series. It is recommended that allelism tests be made with a mimic before a new gene symbol is assigned to it.
  6. Multiple alleles have the same symbol, followed by a Roman letter or Arabic number superscript. Similarities in phenotype are insufficient to establish multiple alleles; the allelism test must be made.
  7. Indistinguishable alleles, i.e. alleles at the same locus with identical phenotypes, preferably should be given the same symbol. If distinctive symbols are assigned to alleles that are apparent re-occurrences of the same mutation, however, they shall have the same symbol with distinguishing numbers or letters in parentheses as superscripts.
  8. Modifying genes may have a symbol for an appropriate name, such as intensifier, suppressor, or inhibitor, followed by a hyphen and the symbol of the allele affected. Alternatively, they may be given a distinctive name unaccompanied by the symbol of the gene modified.
  9. In cases of the same symbol being assigned to different genes, or more than one symbol designated for the same gene, priority in publication will be the primary criterion for establishing the preferred symbol. Incorrectly assigned symbols will be enclosed in parentheses on the gene lists.
  10. The same symbol shall not be used for nonallelic genes of different Cucurbita species. Allelic genes of compatible species are designated with the same symbol for the locus.


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Department of Horticultural Science Box 7609North Carolina State UniversityRaleigh, NC 27695-7609919-515-5363
Page citation: Wehner, T.C., Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative;
Created by T.C. Wehner and T. Ng, 1 June 2005; design by C.T. Glenn;
send questions to T.C. Wehner; last revised on 19 May, 2010