Cryptosporidium parvum is an obligate intracellular pathogen responsible for widespread infections in humans and animals. The inability to obtain purified samples of this organism's various developmental stages has limited the understanding of the biochemical mechanisms important for C. parvum development or host-parasite interaction. To identify C. parvum genes independent of their developmental expression, a random sequence analysis of the 10.4-megabase genome of C. parvum was undertaken. Total genomic DNA was sheared by nebulization, and fragments between 800 and 1,500 bp were gel purified and cloned into a plasmid vector. A total of 442 clones were randomly selected and subjected to automated sequencing by using one or two primers flanking the cloning site. In this way, 654 genomic survey sequences (GSSs) were generated, corresponding to >320 kb of genomic sequence. These sequences were assembled into 408 contigs containing >250 kb of unique sequence, representing ~2.5% of the C. parvum genome. Comparison of the GSSs with sequences in the public DNA and protein databases revealed that 107 contigs (26%) displayed similarity to previously identified proteins and rRNA and tRNA genes. These included putative genes involved in the glycolytic pathway, DNA, RNA, and protein metabolism, and signal transduction pathways. The repetitive sequence elements identified included a telomere-like sequence containing hexamer repeats, 57 microsatellite-like elements composed of dinucleotide or trinucleotide repeats, and a direct repeat sequence. This study demonstrates that large-scale genomic sequencing is an efficient approach to analyze the organizational characteristics and information content of the C. parvum genome.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases