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Comp Funct Genomics. 2008:879023. doi: 10.1155/2008/879023.

Protein coding gene nucleotide substitution pattern in the apicomplexan protozoa Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium hominis.

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  • 1Department of Computer Science, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA.


Cryptosporidium parvum and C. hominis are related protozoan pathogens which infect the intestinal epithelium of humans and other vertebrates. To explore the evolution of these parasites, and identify genes under positive selection, we performed a pairwise whole-genome comparison between all orthologous protein coding genes in C. parvum and C. hominis. Genome-wide calculation of the ratio of nonsynonymous versus synonymous nucleotide substitutions (dN/dS) was performed to detect the impact of positive and purifying selection. Of 2465 pairs of orthologous genes, a total of 27 (1.1%) showed a high ratio of nonsynonymous substitutions, consistent with positive selection. A majority of these genes were annotated as hypothetical proteins. In addition, proteins with transmembrane and signal peptide domains are significantly more frequent in the high dN/dS group.

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