GMO Genetic Elements Thesaurus (GMO-GET) : a controlled vocabulary for the consensus designation of introduced or modified genetic elements in genetically modified organisms

Adamse, Paulien; Dagand, Emilie; Bohmert-Tatarev, Karen; Wahler, Daniela; Miranda, Manoela; Kok, Esther J.; Bendiek, Joachim


Background: Various databases on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) exist, all with their specific focus to facilitate access to information needed for, e. g., the assistance in risk assessment, the development of detection and identification strategies or inspection and control activities. Each database has its unique approach towards the subject. Often these databases use different terminology to describe the GMOs. For adequate GMO addressing and identification and exchange of GMO-related information it is necessary to use commonly agreed upon concepts and terminology. Result: A hierarchically structured controlled vocabulary describing the genetic elements inserted into conventional GMOs, and GMOs developed by the use of gen(om)e-editing is presented: the GMO genetic element thesaurus (GMO-GET). GMO-GET can be used for GMO-related documentation, including GMO-related databases. It has initially been developed on the basis of two GMO databases, i.e. the Biosafety Clearing-House and the EUginius database. Conclusion: The use of GMO-GET will enable consistent and compatible information (harmonisation), also allowing an accurate exchange of information between the different data systems and thereby facilitating their interoperability. GMO-GET can also be used to describe genetic elements that are altered in organisms obtained through current targeted genome-editing techniques.