DOI: 10.1101/494880Dec 12, 2018Paper

A new framework for the study of apicomplexan diversity across environments

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Javier Del CampoPatrick J Keeling

Abstract

Apicomplexans are a group of microbial eukaryotes that contain some of the most well-studied parasites, including widespread intracellular pathogens of mammals such as Toxoplasma and Plasmodium (the agent of malaria), and emergent pathogens like Cryptosporidium and Babesia. Decades of research have illuminated the pathogenic mechanisms, molecular biology, and genomics of model apicomplexans, but we know surprisingly little about their diversity and distribution in natural environments. In this study we analyze the distribution of apicomplexans across a range of both host-associated and free-living environments, covering animal hosts from cnidarians to mammals, and ecosystems from soils to fresh and marine waters. Using publicly available small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene databases, high-throughput environmental sequencing (HTES) surveys such as Tara Oceans and VAMPS, as well as our own generated HTES data, we developed an apicomplexan reference database, which includes the largest apicomplexan SSU rRNA tree available to date and encompasses comprehensive sampling of this group and their closest relatives. This tree allowed us to identify and correct incongruences in the molecular identification of sequences, particularly within the...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Epidemiologic Studies
Babesiosis
Cnidaria
Environment
Genes
Malaria
Molecular Biology
Parasites
Research
Toxoplasma gondii

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