September 30,2015 | Vol. 3
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LVRI Scientists Decode the Mitochondrial Genome of Gnathostoma spinigerum, a Neglected Zoonotic Nematode

Gnathostoma spp. can cause human and animal gnathostomiasis, which is an emerging food-borne parasitic disease. In spite of their significance as pathogens, these parasites remain poorly understood at the molecular level. Recently, scientists in the Innovation Research Team of Animal Parasitic Diseases in Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute (LVRI), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) decoded the mitochondrial (mt) genome of G. spinigerum, which infects a range of definitive hosts including dogs, cats, tigers, leopards and humans. The mt genome of G. spinigerum is 14,079 bp in size and shows substantial changes in gene order compared to other nematodes studied to date. Phylogenetic analyses of mt genome sequences by Bayesian inference (BI) revealed that the infraorder Gnathostomatomorpha (represented by G. spinigerum) is closely related to the infraorder Ascaridomorpha. G. spinigerum is the first species from the infraorder Gnathostomatomorpha for which a complete mt genome has been sequenced. The new data will help understand the evolution, population genetics and systematics of this medically important group of parasites.

This work was a result of collaboration of LVRI with University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia, Zhongshan Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, and The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University. Project support was provided by the International Science & Technology Cooperation Program of China (Grant No. 2013DFA31840), the Science Fund for Creative Research Groups of Gansu Province (Grant No. 1210RJIA006) and the Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Program (ASTIP).
This work was published in Scientic Reports (5: 12691. doi: 10.1038/srep12691) onDOI: 31 July, 2015. More details are available:
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