Brugia Malayi - Genome Deciphered

Genome Deciphered

On September 20, 2007, scientists sequenced the genome of Brugia malayi in the paper "Draft Genome for the Filarial Nematode Parasite Brugia malayi" by Elodie Ghedin, et al. Science 317, 1756 (2007); doi:10.1126/science.1145406. Identifying the genes of this organism might lead to development of new drugs and vaccines.

To decipher the genome, "Whole Genome Shotgun Sequencing" was performed. The genome was found to be approximately 90-95 mega bases in size. The results of the sequencing was then compared to that of the C. elegans, along with its prototype C. briggsae. These other organisms were incorporated in the study and proved to be important for several reasons:

  • comparing genomes using C. elegans was extremely beneficial in identifying similar linkages in genes.
    • the researchers found a genomic conservation
    • also found data that supported an absence of conservation at a more local gene level
      • This demonstrated that rearrangements had occurred over time between the C. elegans and B. malayi and allowed researchers to identify genes or proteins that were more specific to B. malayi
      • These unique genes were significant because they could have led to the parasitism seen in B. malayi, and would therefore be seen as appropriate targets for future studies.
  • gene linkages offer new insight into the evolutionary trend of parasitic genes that could possess clues to further explain their unique ability to successfully survive for many years in human hosts.

Read more about this topic:  Brugia Malayi