Principles of VariO

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VariO can be used for description of variations

  • of whatever type (natural/engineered)
  • of whatever size
  • in whatever organism
  • of any mechanism
  • with experimentally verified or predicted effect(s)


  • does not describe actual variation on nucleotide/protein level
  • does not contain any clinical information

VariO is position specific. It can be used to explain whatever size of variation ranging  from single nucleotide to entire genome.

VariO explains the change caused by the variation, not the normal/wild type property, function etc.

VariO was developed in OBO flat file format developed by the Gene Ontology Consortium. OWL format is also available.

VariO reuses of terms and definitions from existing ontologies including

  Molecular Interaction Ontology
Sequence Ontology (SO)
and others

To each VariO term except for the root terms is attached evidence code when used for annotation. The codes are from Evidence codes ontology.