Research highlight

Schistosome genome sequence

Nature Genetics

January 16, 2012

The genome sequence of S. haematobium, a prevalent blood fluke that is a cause of the parasitic disease schistosomiasis, is reported this week in Nature Genetics. S. haematobium is one of the three major species causing schistosomiasis in humans, though it is the only one of these species that is associated with the urogenital form of schistosomiasis, and has also been associated with human bladder cancer. Robin Gasser and colleagues report the whole-genome sequence of S. haematobium. Their comparative genomic studies with the two previously sequenced schistosomes, S. mansoni and S. japonicum, both of which are a cause of intestinal schistosomiasis, identifies features that may explain the lifestyle differences between these species. The authors also characterize the S. haematobium transcriptome, reporting gene expression profiles and specific roles that vary by sex and through the lifecycle from egg to adult stages.

doi: 10.1038/ng.1065

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