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Nat Genet. 2011 Mar;43(3):228-35. doi: 10.1038/ng.769. Epub 2011 Feb 20.

The draft genome of the parasitic nematode Trichinella spiralis.

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  • 1The Genome Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.


Genome evolution studies for the phylum Nematoda have been limited by focusing on comparisons involving Caenorhabditis elegans. We report a draft genome sequence of Trichinella spiralis, a food-borne zoonotic parasite, which is the most common cause of human trichinellosis. This parasitic nematode is an extant member of a clade that diverged early in the evolution of the phylum, enabling identification of archetypical genes and molecular signatures exclusive to nematodes. We sequenced the 64-Mb nuclear genome, which is estimated to contain 15,808 protein-coding genes, at ∼35-fold coverage using whole-genome shotgun and hierarchal map-assisted sequencing. Comparative genome analyses support intrachromosomal rearrangements across the phylum, disproportionate numbers of protein family deaths over births in parasitic compared to a non-parasitic nematode and a preponderance of gene-loss and -gain events in nematodes relative to Drosophila melanogaster. This genome sequence and the identified pan-phylum characteristics will contribute to genome evolution studies of Nematoda as well as strategies to combat global parasites of humans, food animals and crops.

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