A grammar and Node.js package for describing microbial genotypes and phenotypes.
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Gnomic is a grammar for describing genotypes and phenotypes of microbial strains. It is designed to provide an unambiguous, human and machine readable genotype definition notation with flexibility in the level of detail of the definition. The gnomic-grammar NodeJS package contains methods for parsing and analysis of genotype definitions written in gnomic.


Install the gnomic-grammar package via NPM:

npm install gnomic-grammar


The grammar consists of a space- or comma-separated list of genotype or phenotype designations described using the following nomenclature:

Designation Grammar expression
feature deleted -feature
feature inserted +feature
site replaced with feature site>feature
multiple integration site replaced with feature site>>feature
feature of organism organism/feature
feature with mutation designation feature(mutation-designation)
feature with accession number feature#GB:123456
feature from accession number #GB:123456
fusion of feature1 and feature2 feature1:feature2
fusion inserted at site using marker site>fusion::marker+
phenotype: wild-type phene+ or phene(wild-type)
phenotype: mutant phene- or phene or phene(mutant)
selection marker: used (wild-type) marker+
selection marker: available (missing/mutant) marker-
a non-integrated plasmid plasmid{} or plasmid{feature, [...]}
plasmid with selection marker plasmid{feature, [...]}::marker+
integrated vector/plasmid with mandatory integration site site>vector{feature, [...]}
nucleotide range of a feature feature[startBase_endBase]
coding nucleotide range of a gene gene[c.startBase_endBase]
protein amino-acid range of a gene gene[p.startAA_endAA]
protein amino-acid of a gene gene[p.AA]
feature of type promoter promoter.promoterName

Term definitions

Term Description
gene a feature that is a gene
feature a named DNA sequence such as a gene, promoter, or terminator
site a feature (such as a gene) with a specific location inside the genome of the original strain
phene an identifier for a feature that comes with a variant definition.
marker a phenotype important for its role as a selection marker


Example code Description
X1>{abcD defG}::M2+, XII2>hijK::M2+, M3- integrate vector containg abcD and defG at X1 using M1 marker, insert hijK at XII2 using M2 marker, state that M3 marker is available (mutant) in strain
#SGD:YOR202W insertion of yeast gene 'YOR202W' referenced in the Saccharomyces Genome Database (SGD)
-CAB5#SGD:YDR196C deletion of yeast gene 'YDR196C' with standard name 'CAB5' referenced in SGD
+E.coli/abcD::Leu2+ insertion of E.coli gene 'abcD' using 'Leu2' selection marker
-abcD deletion of feature 'abcD' in the parent strain
+abcD::His5+ insertion of feature 'abcD' using the 'His5' selection marker
efgH>abcD insertion of feature 'abcD' at the location of 'efgH', substituting (deleting) 'efgH'
abcD(cr) presence of gene 'abcD' with 'cr' (i.e. cold-resistant) mutation
+Pmtr:abcD:Trmt insertion of the fusion of features 'Pmtr', 'abcD', 'Trmt'
+promoter.Pmtr:abcD:terminator.Trmt insertion of the fusion of features 'Pmtr', 'abcD', 'Trmt' with explicit types
+abcD:efgH:His5+ insertion of genes 'abcD' and 'efgH' next to each other using the 'His5' selection marker
Abc+ Abc wild-type phenotype
Abc- Abc mutant phenotype
p123{} Plasmid p123 present
X1>p123{geneA geneB}::KanMX+ Integration of p123 containing geneA and geneB at X1 using KanMX marker


Contributions are very welcome. Please create an issue or contact the author (Lars Schöning) if you would like to propose any significant/breaking changes. Let us know if you want to help us out with a Python version of the grammar.