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BGI reports pig parasite's genomic sequence provides new clues for parasitic diseases research
Date:10/28/2011

This release is also available in Chinese on EurekAlert! Chinese.

Shenzhen, China -- An international team of researchers, led by the University of Melbourne and BGI, has sequenced the draft genome of Ascaris suum, a parasitic roundworm of pig. This collaborative study, published online in the international journal Nature, provides a comprehensive resource to the scientific community and paves the way for the development of new and urgently needed interventions (drugs, vaccines and diagnostic tests) against ascariasis and other nematodiases.

Ascaris worms are soil-transmitted helminths causing ascariasis in human and animals. Human infections are commonly found in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and favorably occurred in the tropical and sub-tropical areas with poor sanitation. Each year, more than one billion people worldwide are infected and about 135,000 are died for the diseases caused by these parasites. Parasite has been disasters to food animal producers due to the huge economic losses resulted from reduced growth and production loss of host animals.

In this study, researchers sequenced the A. suum genome at ~80-fold coverage and generated approximately 273 million base genome sequence for A. suum. The genome size is about 273 Mb and about 18,500 protein-coding genes were estimated. "Compare to the other metazoan genomes reported to date, we found this genome has few repetitive sequences, only about 4.4% of the total assembly." said Shiping Liu, the co-leading author of the study and Senior Bioinformatician of Comparative Genomics Group at BGI. "We later found out this phenomenon was probably caused by the chromatin diminution." he added.

Researchers had conducted the comparison of A. suum genome and sequences of other paras
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Contact: Jia Liu
liujia@genomics.cn
BGI Shenzhen
Source:Eurekalert

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