Filarial nematode parasites, the causative agents for a spectrum of acute and chronic diseases including lymphatic filariasis and river blindness, threaten the well-being and livelihood of hundreds of millions of people in the developing regions of the world. The 2007 publication on a draft assembly of the 95-Mb genome of the human filarial parasite Brugia malayi- representing the first helminth parasite genome to be sequenced - has been followed in rapid succession by projects that have resulted in the genome sequencing of six additional filarial species, seven nonfilarial nematode parasites of animals and nearly 30 plant parasitic and free-living species. Parallel to the genomic sequencing, transcriptomic and proteomic projects have facilitated genome annotation, expanded our understanding of stage-associated gene expression and provided a first look at the role of epigenetic regulation of filarial genomes through microRNAs. The expansion in filarial genomics will also provide a significant enrichment in our knowledge of the diversity and variability in the genomes of the endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia leading to a better understanding of the genetic principles that govern filarial-Wolbachia mutualism. The goal here is to provide an overview of the trends and advances in filarial and Wolbachia genomics.
- Noncoding RNA
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