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Sequence analysis of the PIP5K locus in Eimeria maxima provides further evidence for eimerian genome plasticity and segmental organization.

Authors: B K BK. Song, M Z MZ. Pan, Y L YL. Lau, K L KL. Wan
Published: 07/29/2014, Genetics and molecular research : GMR


Commercial flocks infected by Eimeria species parasites, including Eimeria maxima, have an increased risk of developing clinical or subclinical coccidiosis; an intestinal enteritis associated with increased mortality rates in poultry. Currently, infection control is largely based on chemotherapy or live vaccines; however, drug resistance is common and vaccines are relatively expensive. The development of new cost-effective intervention measures will benefit from unraveling the complex genetic mechanisms that underlie host-parasite interactions, including the identification and characterization of genes encoding proteins such as phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate 5-kinase (PIP5K). We previously identified a PIP5K coding sequence within the E. maxima genome. In this study, we analyzed two bacterial artificial chromosome clones presenting a ~145-kb E. maxima (Weybridge strain) genomic region spanning the PIP5K gene locus. Sequence analysis revealed that ~95% of the simple sequence repeats detected were located within regions comparable to the previously described feature-rich segments of the Eimeria tenella genome. Comparative sequence analysis with the orthologous E. maxima (Houghton strain) region revealed a moderate level of conserved synteny. Unique segmental organizations and telomere-like repeats were also observed in both genomes. A number of incomplete transposable elements were detected and further scrutiny of these elements in both orthologous segments revealed interesting nesting events, which may play a role in facilitating genome plasticity in E. maxima. The current analysis provides more detailed information about the genome organization of E. maxima and may help to reveal genotypic differences that are important for expression of traits related to pathogenicity and virulence.

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