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I'm trying to annotate a list of organisms taken from NCBI for cellularity (unicellular or multicellular). Does any of you ever found a database with association between an organisms' name or taxa and whether it is unicellular or multicellular? Desirably, I would like to get information both on species level and on higher taxonomic level (phyla, classes, etc.), but any information on this is welcomed.

In case it matters, I'm using Perl to do this annotation.

Thanks in advance

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I think this might be useful if you are also looking for domain level classification.It has all domain classification. ftp.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pub/taxonomy/taxcat_readme.txt File:taxcat.zip. Link:ftp.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pub/taxonomy .Thanks. –  Raghavakrishna Jul 3 at 14:03
    
though that may be useful for refining and curating the taxonomy itself, it does not help with the main issue here: finding an association between uni/multicellularity and specific taxonomic groups. –  Sosi Jul 3 at 15:51
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2 Answers 2

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It doesn't seem that such a database exists, but I think it's relatively easy to create a list of multicellular taxa and the rest should be considered unicellular. Since you use ncbi taxonomy, you can easily get higher-level parent for any species, so there is no need to define cellularity for individual species.

The challenging groups would be different algal and fungal taxa, but there are some good reference books. You also have to decide, whether to introduce a separate category for colonial/coenobial/filamentous organisms.

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Yep, that's the whole thing: even though in some cases you can define multicellulars from higher level taxa (e.g. Metazoa), the problem lies on Fungi and Algae where it's more difficult. I ended up doing this by hand. For Fungi I sometimes had to go to the family level to be able to distinguish these taxa. It surprises me that no one has ever done this. However, I understand that in many cases, having this type of separation relying on taxonomic classification is not the best... –  Sosi Jul 7 at 9:06
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Recently i came across this text file which has Kingdom,Phylum etc. https://app.box.com/s/hsmvie7vgjdj1z3g0iuf

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That also exists in NCBI and a bunch of other databases. My problem is not having an association between the several clades - and thus your answer does not answer my question. Please read my question again and, specifically, where I wrote "Does any of you ever found a database with association between an organisms' name or taxa and whether it is unicellular or multicellular?" –  Sosi Jul 8 at 16:17
    
I answered only for this "Desirably, I would like to get information both on species level and on higher taxonomic level (phyla, classes, etc.), but any information on this is welcomed." –  Raghavakrishna Jul 8 at 16:19
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