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[Gofriends] linguistic analysis of GO terms -- pigmentation

Colleen E Crangle, Phd crangle at
Fri May 14 01:00:27 PDT 2010

Dear GO friends,

I'm doing a linguistic analysis of biological process terms in GO and, as a non-biologist, have encountered a puzzle in some terms related to pigmentation.
 GO:0043473 : pigmentation: The deposition or aggregation of coloring matter in an organism, tissue or cell 

 GO:0048066 : developmental pigmentation: The developmental process that results in the deposition of coloring matter in an organism, tissue or cell.   

 GO:0043476 : pigment accumulation: The aggregation of coloring matter in a particular location in an organism, tissue or cell, occurring in response to some external stimulus.   

Pigment accumulation, a process that is in response to some external stimulus, is differentiated from developmental pigmentation, driven presumably by internal cues. These processes, however, are further differentiated by coloring matter being aggregated in the first and deposited, not aggregated, in the second.  Depositing and aggregating coloring matter differ in their verbal aspect--this is what interests me here.

So my question is: Is it really not possible for pigment aggregation to play any role in developmental pigmentation or for pigment deposition to play any role in response to external stimuli? Is this distinction intended?

The subtype processes under developmental pigmentation (cuticle, eye, and sex-specific pigmentation) give no clue and have their own aspectual problems.

I'd appreciate any thoughts.

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