Precision nomenclature for the new genomics

Harris A. Lewin, Jennifer A.Marshall Graves, Oliver A. Ryder, Alexander S. Graphodatsky, Stephen J. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The confluence of two scientific disciplines may lead to nomenclature conflicts that require new terms while respecting historical definitions. This is the situation with the current state of cytology and genomics, which offer examples of distinct nomenclature and vocabularies that require reconciliation. In this article, we propose the new terms C-scaffold (for chromosome-scale assemblies of sequenced DNA fragments, commonly named scaffolds) and scaffotype (the resulting collection of C-scaffolds that represent an organism's genome). This nomenclature avoids conflict with the historical definitions of the terms chromosome (a microscopic body made of DNA and protein) and karyotype (the collection of images of all chromosomes of an organism or species). As large-scale sequencing projects progress, adoption of this nomenclature will assist end users to properly classify genome assemblies, thus facilitating genomic analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbergiz086
Number of pages3
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019

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