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Cryptosporidium parvum genome view
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     Lineage: Eukaryota; Alveolata; Apicomplexa; Conoidasida; Coccidia; Eucoccidiorida; Eimeriorina; Cryptosporidiidae; Cryptosporidium; Cryptosporidium parvum

The genome of the protozoan parasite Cryptosporidium parvum is being sequenced by Advanced Genetics Analysis Center (AGAC) at the University of Minnesota (UMN) and is funded by NIAID.

The sequencing strategy is shotgun sequencing to obtain a high genome coverage. In addition to this effort, end-sequencing of large-insert genomic clones will provide a scaffold to verify DNA assembly (carried on at the University of Minnesota). The Cryptosporidium parvum nuclear genome is approximately 10.4 Mb, organized in eight chromosomes with sizes varying from 1.04 to 1.5 Mb. Surprisingly, unlike most Apicomplexa, C. parvum appears to lack a plastid genome.

Cryptosporidium parvum is an obligate intracellular parasite of the phylum Apicomplexa and has a complex life cycle, with multiple asexual and sexual developmental stages. It is the causal agent of acute diarrheal disease in human (third major cause of diarrheal disease worldwide) and animals and has emerged as a very important pathogen worldwide due to its morbidity in AIDS patients. Despite its significance, little is known about this parasite biology and specific chemo- or immunotherapies to treat cryptosporidiosis are yet to be developed.

Sequencing of the C. parvum genome will provide information regarding genome structure and organization, host-parasite interaction and pathogenesis, and the development of drug and vaccine targets.

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Last modified: Nov 17 2005

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