Novel gene families encoded within apicomplexan Eimeria genomes: NGS, genetic and microscopic characterisation


Eimeria species parasites, close relatives of Toxoplasma gondii, cause the disease coccidiosis in all livestock, most notably poultry. Recent developments in next generation sequencing have supported the production of reference genome sequence assemblies for all seven Eimeria species that infect the chicken. Genomic analysis has revealed a novel segmented genome structure and identified two Eimeria-specific gene families (ESFs). The projects described here will use a combination of classical genetics, cell biology, next generation sequencing, microscopy and parasite transfection to investigate the impact of these features on Eimeria biology, lifecycle and population structure.


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Reid AJ, Blake DP, Ansari HR, Billington K, Browne HP, Bryant J, Dunn M, Hung SS, Kawahara F, Miranda-Saavedra D, Malas TB, Mourier T, Naghra H, Nair M, Otto TD, Rawlings ND, Rivailler P, Sanchez-Flores A, Sanders M, Subramaniam C, Tay Y-L, Woo Y, Wu X, Barrell B, Dear PH, Doerig C, Gruber A, Ivens AC, Parkinson J, Rajandream M-A, Shirley MW, Wan K-L, Berriman M, Tomley FM and Pain A (2014) Genomic analysis of the causative agents of coccidiosis in domestic chickens. Genome Research 24:1676-1685


Blake DP, Clark EL, Macdonald SE, Thenmozhi V, Kundu K, Garg R, Jatau ID, Ayoade S, Kawahara F, Moftah A, Reid AJ, Adebambo AO, Álvarez-Zapata R, Srinivasa Rao ASR, Thangaraj K, Banerjee PS, Raj GD, Raman M, Tomley FM (2015) Population, genetic and antigenic diversity of the apicomplexan Eimeria tenella and their relevance to vaccine development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 112:E5343–E5350.

Biological Areas:

Cell Biology


Animal disease, health and welfare