Annotation of two large contiguous regions from the Haemonchus contortus genome using RNA-seq and comparative analysis with Caenorhabditis elegans

Laing, R. et al. (2011) Annotation of two large contiguous regions from the Haemonchus contortus genome using RNA-seq and comparative analysis with Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS ONE, 6(8), e23216. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023216)

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Abstract

The genomes of numerous parasitic nematodes are currently being sequenced, but their complexity and size, together with high levels of intra-specific sequence variation and a lack of reference genomes, makes their assembly and annotation a challenging task. Haemonchus contortus is an economically significant parasite of livestock that is widely used for basic research as well as for vaccine development and drug discovery. It is one of many medically and economically important parasites within the strongylid nematode group. This group of parasites has the closest phylogenetic relationship with the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, making comparative analysis a potentially powerful tool for genome annotation and functional studies. To investigate this hypothesis, we sequenced two contiguous fragments from the H. contortus genome and undertook detailed annotation and comparative analysis with C. elegans. The adult H. contortus transcriptome was sequenced using an Illumina platform and RNA-seq was used to annotate a 409 kb overlapping BAC tiling path relating to the X chromosome and a 181 kb BAC insert relating to chromosome I. In total, 40 genes and 12 putative transposable elements were identified. 97.5% of the annotated genes had detectable homologues in C. elegans of which 60% had putative orthologues, significantly higher than previous analyses based on EST analysis. Gene density appears to be less in H. contortus than in C. elegans, with annotated H. contortus genes being an average of two-to-three times larger than their putative C. elegans orthologues due to a greater intron number and size. Synteny appears high but gene order is generally poorly conserved, although areas of conserved microsynteny are apparent. C. elegans operons appear to be partially conserved in H. contortus. Our findings suggest that a combination of RNA-seq and comparative analysis with C. elegans is a powerful approach for the annotation and analysis of strongylid nematode genomes.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Laing, Dr Roz
Authors: Laing, R., Hunt, M., Protasio, A.V., Saunders, G., Mungall, K., Laing, S., Jackson, F., Quail, M., Beech, R., Berriman, M., and Gilleard, J.S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Published Online:15 August 2011
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2011 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 6(8):e23216
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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