Genome Sequencing of the Relevant Zebrafish-Infecting Microsporidian Pseudoloma neurophilia Reveals Atypical Genome Dynamics

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Title: Genome Sequencing of the Relevant Zebrafish-Infecting Microsporidian Pseudoloma neurophilia Reveals Atypical Genome Dynamics
Authors: Ndikumana, Steve
Date: 2016
Abstract: Since their first discovery in the 19th century, microsporidian species have been found to be successful obligate intracellular parasites capable of infecting a wide variety of hosts including economically and ecologically important organisms as well as model organisms for biomedical research. Recently, cases of infection of the widely used animal model Danio rerio, commonly known as the zebrafish, by the newly described microsporidium Pseudoloma neurophilia have been reported in an increasing number of research facilities. Current knowledge of the biology of this parasite found in 75% of the Zebrafish Resource Center facilities is limited to microscopic analyses on its lifecycle as well as its physical, behavioral and psychic impact on its hosts. Despite the growing relevance of this parasite in biomedical research no current data is available on its genome. In this dissertation, I provide additional knowledge on the basic biology of P. neurophilia by acquiring and exploring the content and structure of the first genome draft of the zebrafish parasite. My findings reveal that the 5.25 Mb genome of P. neurophilia harbors an unusually high amount of transposable elements as well as numerous inserts found in coding regions typically conserved in microsporidia and other organisms. This peculiar obligate parasite demonstrates strong phylogenetic and genetic relationships with other fish-mosquito microsporidia. Similar to what is observed in closely related species, intra-genomic analyses of P. neurophilia’s genome suggest that it is diploid and possesses a large repertoire of over a thousand putative genes unique to this specie. Overall, my findings provide new insights into the basic biology of this parasite and represent a milestone in the understanding of P. neurophilia and D. rerio host-parasite interaction and ultimately in the development of treatments against this parasite that has been infecting the zebrafish research industry for the past decades. 
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/34535
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-5609
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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