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The genome and developmental transcriptome of the strongylid nematode Haemonchus contortus

Schwarz, Erich M. and Korhonen, Pasi K. and Campbell, Bronwyn E. and Young, Neil D. and Jex, Aaron R. and Jabbar, Abdul and Hall, Ross S. and Mondal, Alinda and Howe, Adina C. and Pell, Jason and Hofmann, Andreas and Boag, Peter R. and Zhu, Xing-Quan and Gregory, T. Ryan and Loukas, Alex and Williams, Brian A. and Antoshechkin, Igor A. and Brown, C. Titus and Sternberg, Paul W. and Gasser, Robin B. (2013) The genome and developmental transcriptome of the strongylid nematode Haemonchus contortus. Genome Biology, 14 (8). Art. No. R89. ISSN 1465-6906. PMCID PMC4053716.

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Background: The barber's pole worm, Haemonchus contortus, is one of the most economically important parasites of small ruminants worldwide. Although this parasite can be controlled using anthelmintic drugs, resistance against most drugs in common use has become a widespread problem. We provide a draft of the genome and the transcriptomes of all key developmental stages of H. contortus to support biological and biotechnological research areas of this and related parasites. Results: The draft genome of H. contortus is 320 Mb in size and encodes 23,610 protein-coding genes. On a fundamental level, we elucidate transcriptional alterations taking place throughout the life cycle, characterize the parasite's gene silencing machinery, and explore molecules involved in development, reproduction, host-parasite interactions, immunity, and disease. The secretome of H. contortus is particularly rich in peptidases linked to blood-feeding activity and interactions with host tissues, and a diverse array of molecules is involved in complex immune responses. On an applied level, we predict drug targets and identify vaccine molecules. Conclusions: The draft genome and developmental transcriptome of H. contortus provide a major resource to the scientific community for a wide range of genomic, genetic, proteomic, metabolomic, evolutionary, biological, ecological, and epidemiological investigations, and a solid foundation for biotechnological outcomes, including new anthelmintics, vaccines and diagnostic tests. This first draft genome of any strongylid nematode paves the way for a rapid acceleration in our understanding of a wide range of socioeconomically important parasites of one of the largest nematode orders.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Schwarz, Erich M.0000-0003-3151-4381
Antoshechkin, Igor A.0000-0002-9934-3040
Brown, C. Titus0000-0001-6001-2677
Sternberg, Paul W.0000-0002-7699-0173
Additional Information:© 2013 Schwarz et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http//, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Received: 10 April 2013 Revised: 8 August 2013 Accepted: 28 August 2013 Published: 28 August 2013. This paper is dedicated to the memories of Sue Newton and Paul J Presidente. We thank Sujai Kumar and Mark Blaxter for providing methods for removing contaminant sequences, and Ali Mortazavi for early sequence analyses. We are grateful to Jody Zawadzki and the late Paul Presidente for originally providing us with the McMaster and Haecon-5 strains of H. contortus. This project was funded by the Australian Research Council (RBG and PWS), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the National Institutes of Health. This project was also supported by a Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative (grant number VR0007) on its Peak Computing Facility at the University of Melbourne, an initiative of the Victorian Government. Other support from the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian-American Fulbright Commission, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Melbourne Water Corporation, and the IBM Research Collaboratory for Life Sciences - Melbourne is gratefully acknowledged. NDY is an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow. We also acknowledge the contributions of all staff at WormBase. We thank the anonymous reviewers for their very constructive reports on our original manuscript.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Australian Research CouncilUNSPECIFIED
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)UNSPECIFIED
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative (VLSCI)VR0007
Victorian GovernmentUNSPECIFIED
Australian Academy of ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Australian-American Fulbright CommissionUNSPECIFIED
Alexander von Humboldt FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Melbourne Water CorporationUNSPECIFIED
IBM Research Collaboratory for Life Sciences - MelbourneUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:8
PubMed Central ID:PMC4053716
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140113-100602079
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:43333
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:15 Jan 2014 00:46
Last Modified:29 Oct 2019 20:18

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